In 1967, Gore Vidal wrote:
The portentous theorizings of the New Novelists are of no more use to us than the self-conscious avant-gardism of those who are trying to figure out what the next ‘really serious’ thing will be when it is plain that there is not going to be a next serious thing in the novel. Our lovely vulgar and most human art is at an end, if not the end. Yet that is no reason not to want to practice it, or even to read it. In any case, rather like priests who have forgotten the meaning of the prayers they chant, we shall go on for quite a long time talking of books and writing books, pretending all the while not to notice that the church is empty and the parishioners have gone elsewhere to attend other gods, perhaps in silence or with new words.