This chapter concludes that writers' reputation has depended more on their circumstances than the inherent literary worth of their works. Great writers of the past whose works are still loved will be read forever and will survive the test of time. The concept of writing for immortality is a resilient fantasy that profoundly affects the perspective of authors in composing their works, and the standpoint of critics in passing judgment to literary works. This concept has been considered a part of the natural order of things, and a source of solace for a writer facing setbacks; however, writers, publishers, or publicists cannot guarantee it.
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