How America’s Literary Culture Has Changed

America’s critical literary culture has changed over the years, writes Sven Birkerts. “The commercial consideration (sales, circulation, publicity) has in recent years become paramount. The logic of the situation is obvious. And desperation driven. What we are seeing is an effort in certain quarters to awaken a somnolent literary culture, to create attention, the idea somehow being that power and money go where the noise is. There is no way to solve the problem at the source, of course—it is systemic—so the best strategy is the quick fix.”