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

Antionette on December 10, 2013

Question

Why is D incorrect?

3 Replies

Melody on December 16, 2013

The conclusion of the argument is: "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," and "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."

We want to choose the answer choice that most calls into question the soundness of the literary critic's advice.

Answer choice (D) is incorrect because we do not know whether the "posthumously published books" referred to are among those that the writer believed to be unworthy of publication and did not want to be associated with even after death. They could be writings that the writer believed to have literary merit and merely didn't have a chance to publish. Thus, this answer choice does not call into question the soundness of the literary critic's advice.

Answer choice (C), on the other hand, does call into question the soundness of the literary critic's advice. If most successful writers' judgments of their recently completed work is unnecessarily harsh and is often later revised, then, possibly, if they were to have lived longer, they may have changed their minds and decided to publish and be associated with them. Therefore, (C) calls into question the literary critic's advice.

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

Joseph on October 14, 2015

Why is B incorrect?

Melody on October 22, 2015

The issue with answer choice (B) is that we have not been given any info about "writers who achieve a certain degree of fame." Well how much fame is "a certain degree?" What if this merely means a small iota of fame? Then do we know necessarily if this writer is successful? No. And we have only been given information about writers who are successful.

Remember, we cannot assume anything on the LSAT. The limits to our knowledge are at the boundaries of the words on the page. Thus, if it is not discussed, we know nothing about it.

So, answer choice (B) does not necessarily have to have any effect on the argument.

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