Academic Questions Editor-at-Large, Carol Iannone, Replies to David Rothman

Carol Iannone

David Rothman is writing here as if I hadn’t even noticed that the NEA study on literary reading that forms the basis of my article, “Reading Literature: Decline and Fall?” (AQ Summer 2005), concerns decline in the reading of all levels of literature, from pulp fiction up, and is not confined to the reading of classic literature that I discussed. In fact, I do take account of this but argue that, since the study revealed a decline in every age group, for men and women, for whites, blacks, and Hispanics, and in every education and income category, it is logical to conclude that a decline in the reading of serious literature has also occurred. One can agree or disagree with my conclusion, but one cannot write as if I hadn’t even understood the parameters of the NEA study.

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