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 Post subject: GMAT Verbal
PostPosted: Sat May 25, 2013 2:27 am 
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Columnist: Novels published in the past 50 years are far inferior to those published even as recently as 100 years ago. Consider the difference between James Joyce's Ulysses, from 1922, and the paperbacks you can find featured on the displays at the mega-bookstores. Joyce's writing is art; these contemporary books are no better than TV sitcoms.

Which of the following points to the most serious logical flaw in the columnist's argument?
A. The books the author picked from the bookstore displays may not represent the quality of modern writing.
B. The mega-bookstores choose their featured books according to several well-known best-seller lists.
C. Novelists today can rely on their publicists and the Internet to boost the popularity of their novels.
D. A reader who is not familiar with James Joyce's Ulysses could find the columnist's argument unconvincing.
E. There could be criteria other than artistic merit by which to analyze a book's quality.


(A) We need to find the statement that points to the most serious flaw in the columnist's argument. This argument, which claims that novels published within the last 50 years are inferior to those published even 100 years ago, relies on a comparison of James Joyce's Ulysses and the paperbacks featured in the mega-bookstores. It is very possible that those books are not adequately representative of novels written in the two time periods being compared. Choice (A) points out this flaw by suggesting that the columnist's choice of books is not representative. Choice (B) offers no evidence either for or against the columnist's argument; even if these featured books are best-sellers, this tells us nothing about their quality – all it tells us is that the mega-bookstores feature what the public likes. Choice (C) supports the columnist's argument by suggesting that books published today become popular (and publishable, we might infer) mainly through advertising, which could imply that they don't need to be well-written to be published (or featured in a bookstore). Choice (D) is irrelevant; we're concerned with the quality of the columnist's argument, not its reception by a certain kind of reader. (E) is incorrect because the author does use terms that address quality – "no better than." This is so because we may infer that what the author means by "inferior" is "less artistic," such that her argument as such is merely less convincing than it could be. (A) is the best answer.
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"The books the author picked from the bookstore"

How is that in the scope of the stimulus? You mention "mega-bookstores" where I can find books, but nothing close to the author going there. Excessively misleading.


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 Post subject: Re: GMAT Verbal
PostPosted: Sat May 25, 2013 2:28 am 
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Quote:
"The books the author picked from the bookstore"

How is that in the scope of the stimulus? You mention "mega-bookstores" where I can find books, but nothing close to the author going there. Excessively misleading.
The author of the passage is the one who mentions the paperbacks at mega-bookstores as a point of comparison with Joyce's Ulysses, so it is clear the author is familiar with those books and those stores.


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