Literary critic: Often the heirs of a successful writer decide to publish the manuscripts and the letters the dead w...

on July 14, 2018

still confused...

I am still confused on why C is the correct answer. I am not sure how to even start this question.

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Mehran on July 25, 2018

@Anna let's break it down.

The conclusion of the stimulus is, "Hence a successful writer who decides not to publish a recently completed manuscript should destroy it immediately."

Why? Because, "often the heirs of a successful writer decide to publish the manuscripts and the letters the dead writer left behind, regardless of the merit of the work" but "many writers have manuscripts that they judge to be unworthy of publication and with which they would not like to be publicly associated even after they die."

But what if a writer who initially decided not to publish a recently completed manuscript later changes her mind? If this writer followed the literary critic's advice, she would not be able to publish it since she destroyed it.

This is a Weaken question and notice that (C) is exactly the example I set forth above, i.e. "Most successful writers' judgments of their recently completed work is unnecessarily harsh and is often later revised."

So (C) would weaken the literary critic's argument, so (C) would be the correct answer.

Hope that helps! Please let us know if you have any other questions.

Julie on July 12, 2019

Does "destroy it immediately" from the conclusion help us pick C over D? At first, I didn't pick C because I thought "later revised" doesn't necessarily mean being published, but publishing the book is part of the premise and not the conclusion. So would the author's action of later revising support the conclusion's notion of destroying it immediately?

Ravi on July 12, 2019


Great question. Yes, "destroy it immediately" from the conclusion
allows us to select (C) over (D). If writers don't believe their work
is that good when they complete it, but then later on change their
opinions of it, then this is a really great reason for them not to
destroy their work immediately. (C) suggests to us that writers
frequently change their minds on the work in a manner that makes them
think of their work in a more positive light, so this is why (C) is

When (C) says "later revised," it's referring to the authors' opinions
of their works being revised, not necessarily the works themselves.
Sure, this doesn't mean that the works are published, but if the
authors think much more highly of their works after some time passes,
then it's reasonable to think they'd also be much more likely to want
to publish said works.

Does this make sense? Let us know if you have any more questions!