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United States: Essays 1952-1992 Chapter Summary & Analysis - "Visit to A Small Planet" (1957) Summary

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"Visit to A Small Planet" (1957) Summary and Analysis

Vidal reflects upon the impact of television and the movies on literature, even on playwriting, and finds the outlook not sanguine. For one thing, declining literacy rates mean that publishers now seek more than ever "the crudely recollected experiences of non-writers" rather than the polished works that come from a skilled writer and form a body of work "to be enjoyed by the common reader in continuity." Vidal estimates that the impact of the visual media has been to atomize any fixed set of common experiences or reference points that form the basis for readership of the novel.

A man who becomes a werewolf in Manhattan, Vidal's first play, has, he hopes, been consigned to the dustbin of history. His second, presented to Tennessee Williams in 1948, was declared one...

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This section contains 220 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Purchase our United States: Essays 1952-1992 Study Guide
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United States: Essays 1952-1992 from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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