Herman Hesse was one of the most renowned 20th century : GMAT Critical Reasoning (CR)
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# Herman Hesse was one of the most renowned 20th century

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Herman Hesse was one of the most renowned 20th century [#permalink]

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11 Nov 2009, 07:56
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Herman Hesse was one of the most renowned 20th century authors. He is remembered as the father of German modernist literature by virtue of his astounding literary achievements in the novels Siddhartha and Steppenwolf. However, some literary critics claim that Goethe was the greatest writer of the modern era from Germany due to his penchant for romanticism and lucid descriptive technique. These divergent opinions about great writers show how taste-specific the study of literature really is.

What is the main point of the passage?
(A) Herman Hesse is thought by many to be the greatest modern German writer.
(B) German authors were the preeminent writers of the 20th century.
(C) Some claim that Hesse was the most distinguished German writer while
others claim that Goethe was the greatest.
(D) Differences in opinion about the merits of literature demonstrate the fact that much of its worth is assessed subjectively.
(E) One must study German literature in order to understand great writing.
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Re: Herman Hesse [#permalink]

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11 Nov 2009, 08:23
Herman Hesse was one of the most renowned 20th century authors. He is remembered as the father of German modernist literature by virtue of his astounding literary achievements in the novels Siddhartha and Steppenwolf. However, some literary critics claim that Goethe was the greatest writer of the modern era from Germany due to his penchant for romanticism and lucid descriptive technique. These divergent opinions about great writers show how taste-specific the study of literature really is.

What is the main point of the passage?
(A) Herman Hesse is thought by many to be the greatest modern German writer. That covers only half of the argument.
(B) German authors were the preeminent writers of the 20th century. The argument talks about great german authors, not that the greatest were german.
(C) Some claim that Hesse was the most distinguished German writer while others claim that Goethe was the greatest. Doesnt cover the conclusion.
(D) Differences in opinion about the merits of literature demonstrate the fact that much of its worth is assessed subjectively. This looks correct to me. The author builds up to his conclusion using the opinions about the two authors as examples.
(E) One must study German literature in order to understand great writing. Nothing like this is said.

IMO D.
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Re: Herman Hesse [#permalink]

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11 Nov 2009, 14:13
"D" for me
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Re: Herman Hesse [#permalink]

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11 Nov 2009, 15:58
I choose D – Everything but the last sentence is the evidence and assumptions used for the argument. These basically provide an example of divergent opinions. The conclusion is presented in the last line and that conclusion is the main point of the passage.
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Re: Herman Hesse [#permalink]

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11 Nov 2009, 20:31
The OA is D
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Re: Herman Hesse [#permalink]

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11 Nov 2009, 21:03
Herman Hesse was one of the most renowned 20th century authors. He is remembered as the father of German modernist literature by virtue of his astounding literary achievements in the novels Siddhartha and Steppenwolf. However, some literary critics claim that Goethe was the greatest writer of the modern era from Germany due to his penchant for romanticism and lucid descriptive technique. These divergent opinions about great writers show how taste-specific the study of literature really is.

What is the main point of the passage?
(A) Herman Hesse is thought by many to be the greatest modern German writer.
(B) German authors were the preeminent writers of the 20th century.
(C) Some claim that Hesse was the most distinguished German writer while
others claim that Goethe was the greatest.
(D) Differences in opinion about the merits of literature demonstrate the fact that much of its worth is assessed subjectively.
(E) One must study German literature in order to understand great writing.

The answer is choice D. The key word in the entire passage is "taste," which in this case relates to subjective valuation.
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Re: Herman Hesse   [#permalink] 11 Nov 2009, 21:03
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# Herman Hesse was one of the most renowned 20th century

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