“The modern work is condemned to become dated unless, by achieving the status of a classic, it manages to free itself from the fluctuations of taste and critical opinion. (“We pass our time arguing over tastes and colors,” Valéry observed. “It is the same at the stock exchange, on countless juries, in the Academies, and it cannot be otherwise”). Literarily speaking, a classic, is a work that rises above competition and so escapes the bidding of time. Only in this way can a modern work be rescued from aging, by being declared timeless and immortal. The classic incarnates literary legitimacy itself which is to say what is recognized as Literature; what, in serving as a unite of measure supplies the basis for determining of that which is considered to be literary.”
Notes: Casanova’s take on how modernity can achieve continuity.
Casanova, P. (2004). The world republic of letters. (p. 92). Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.