I am grateful to Scott Lucas for giving me the opportunity to contribute to the new website of the Journal of American Studies. Putting together literary histories today is both necessary and impossible, and, in the American case, the culture wars and the postmodern critiques of grand narratives have posed particular challenges that are only augmented by the availability and Googlability of so many bits of quite reliable information for which past generations still had to consult literary histories or other reference works. In a contribution to American Scholar (Winter 2010) I have posed eleven questions surrounding the present state and possible future of literature and literary study in the United States, questions I would be happy to see discussed more widely. The following comment is a specific response to a review that appeared in the print edition of the Journal of American Studies in November 2010.
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