Elite and popular
To defend the printed book, the literary community seems increasingly willing to isolate itself. Its emphasis on the salvational power of close reading and coherent argumentation cannot help but suggest a distinction between serious and superficial (and that most digital writing is superficial). And for all the ways in which the literary community and the humanities have opened up to new kinds of writing and new groups of authors, the dichotomy between elite and popular remains, rising easily to the surface in judgements about which authors are worthy of careful reading and which are not. In this, the literary world is like the contemporary art world. Although we live in a culture in which anyone can make art with almost any materials and almost any educational background, the art world insists that there remains an inside and outside: that certain works are serious art and the rest are not (see Van Laar and Diepeveen, Artworld Prestige: Arguing Culture Value, 2013).