Modernity’s connection with fashion is a sign of its inherent instability. It is also inevitably an occasion of rivalry and competition: because the modern by definition is always new, and therefore open to challenge, the only way in literary space to be truly modern is to contest the present as outmoded — to appeal to a still more present present, as yet unknown, which thus becomes the newest certified present. The success of newcomers to literary space and time in breaking into the ranks of the established moderns, and earning themselves the right to take part in debates over the definition of the latest modernity, therefore depends to some extent on their familiarity with the most recent innovations in form and technique.
Pascale Casanova, The World Republic of Letters, (Harvard College: President and Fellows of harvard College, 2004), 91.
Notes: Keeping up with the moderns. Keeping up with the times. Making the future of writing today. Each day is more modern. Join the ranks, writers.