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# Masterpieces of literature are "intertextual"

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Manager
Joined: 08 Apr 2003
Posts: 150
Masterpieces of literature are "intertextual" [#permalink]

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05 May 2003, 11:59
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Masterpieces of literature are “intertextual”; that is, they tend to be written in response not to reality but to to other works of literature. To the extent that a writing is intertextual, it becomes clouded as a mirror of social reality.

The statements above provide the most aupport for which of the following conclusions?

a. To the extent that a writing fails to mirror social reality, the writing is intertextual.
b. The author who wishes to write a masterpiece should avoid being influenced by other works of literature.
c. A writing that is not intertextual can have no significant relationship to any other writings.
d. Literary masterpieces of the past are suspect as sources of information about the social reality of the past.
e. A work of literature is not intertextual if it is written in response to a writing that accurately mirrors social reality.

SVP
Joined: 03 Feb 2003
Posts: 1604

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06 May 2003, 00:28
I vote for E.

My stupid rationale: the argument boils down to something like If A then B. The conclusion is -- not B, then not A.

E seems to match.

The problem is perfect!
Manager
Joined: 08 Apr 2003
Posts: 150

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07 May 2003, 11:06

The correct answer although is "D".

I'll am still trying to reason it.
SVP
Joined: 03 Feb 2003
Posts: 1604

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07 May 2003, 22:33
D tends to be out of scope. There is no info in the stem about the masterpieces of the PAST. The conclusion should be neither wider nor narrower than the scope of the stem. It should be the same.

Many test prep materials advise to pay close attention to qualifying adjectives and adverbs that modify scope.

I would have agreed with D, if it had been free from any qualifiers:

Literary masterpieces are suspect as sources of information about the social reality.
Manager
Joined: 08 Apr 2003
Posts: 150

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08 May 2003, 06:02
let's see i am trying to reason this.. may not be all that convincing as i am trying to prove the correct answer, correct and not justify fully that the correct answer indeed is the correct answer.

"E" I feel would not be the correct answer., As the stem asks for the CONCLUSION and not INFERENCE.

I feel conclusion is more of a logical flow of ideas rather than INFERENCE where you reason out the truth of a particular part of the statement.

If I say , NOT INTERTEXUAL since NOT CLOUDED MIRROR OF SOCIAL REALITY.

then it deals with a certain evidence in the argument.

The conclusion should be a logical flow so it should have agreed to whatver said in the argurment and then state something which may follow up from the premises but not necessarily always true.

I have tried my shot maybe you have to add more...

The primary thing although remains here, is one thing and i belive is the presence of mind while answering a question like this in the exam hall. One often gets perturbed and the feeling at that point of time is answer whichever feels good to your heart and mind, and wish that the answer you click be CORRECT.
SVP
Joined: 03 Feb 2003
Posts: 1604

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10 May 2003, 06:57
To follow your heart is pretty questionable way to go. Especially for a nonnative speaker. CR has its own rules, as does PS. One of them is that of scope.

I agree that the conclusion goes from the stem; however, it should have the same limits. If the stem says about white dogs, we have to eliminate a conclusion that says about black dogs, or fat dogs, or all dogs, let alone cats. The conclusion should say about white dogs as well -- to keep the scope the same, neither wider, nor narrower.

The scope is usually defined via qualitative words, such as ALL, SOME, NO, ALWAYS, and so on.

Your example seems not to obey the rule. The stem says about ALL masterpieces of literature. The conclusion says about masterpieces of the PAST, making the scope narrower.
Intern
Joined: 29 May 2006
Posts: 6

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29 May 2006, 23:31
I got this one right.
Here is my reasoning.

A states the reverse of the relation that is mentioned in the passage. Hence it is ruled out.

We cannot make sweeping conclusions on our own.
B and C are too far from what is stated in the passage.

E contradicts the passage. coz the passage states that intertextual stuff is written in response to other literary works.

D is correct.
The passage states, "To the extent that a writing is intertextual, it becomes clouded as a mirror of social reality."
And D merely reiterates the same for master pieces of the past.

Cheers!
SVP
Joined: 30 Mar 2006
Posts: 1728

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30 May 2006, 03:30
D for me.

The author argues that "To the extent that a writing is intertextual, it becomes clouded as a mirror of social reality. " That is intertextual writing is not a good mirror of social reality.
Hence we can conclude that "Literary masterpieces of the past are suspect as sources of information about the social reality of the past"
GMAT Club Legend
Joined: 07 Jul 2004
Posts: 5043
Location: Singapore

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30 May 2006, 04:11
E is the best choice.

The question stems clearly says when a writing is intertextual, it becomes clouded as a mirror of social reality. This is best represented in E where it says a work of literature is not intertexual if it accurately mirrors social reality.

D is not a good choice because it goes to say literary masterpieces of the past. No where in the question passage does it mention this observation is true for masterpieces of the past. In my opinion, D is too narrow to be a good answer.
Senior Manager
Joined: 09 Mar 2006
Posts: 444

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30 May 2006, 05:43
I vote for D.
Indeed it is narrow, but it doesn't contradict the definition as does E.
Since all "masterpieces of literature" are suspect, so probably should be
those of the past.

E says that if the work is written in response to a writing, it is not intertextual. Obviously this clearly contradicts the definition of intertextual work given in the passage.
Director
Joined: 26 Sep 2005
Posts: 572
Location: Munich,Germany

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30 May 2006, 19:53
E here.
Senior Manager
Joined: 12 Mar 2006
Posts: 365
Schools: Kellogg School of Management

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30 May 2006, 21:04

"To the extent that a writing is intertextual, it becomes clouded as a mirror of social reality. "

Means More the writing is intertextual more clouded it is, as a mirror of social reality

The first statement states that literary master pieces are intertextual.

So the conclusion is that literary master pieces are not reliable sources of information about the past. So D is the best answer

E, which states 'e. A work of literature is not intertextual if it is written in response to a writing that accurately mirrors social reality.
'
basically gives the complement of the statement 'that intertextual literature is not a good source of information about social reality' which may or may not be the case due to other constraints...
VP
Joined: 07 Nov 2005
Posts: 1118
Location: India

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30 May 2006, 21:16
Joining the D gang.
30 May 2006, 21:16
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