What happens to cult classic books that age out of their cool? My suspicion is that they move from the primary focus of lit courses taught by bespectacled hipster profs to the negative examples in lit courses taught by slightly greyer bespectacled hipster profs.
What’s certain is that the cult classic inspires passionate devotion among its fans, who frequently weave their own myths around the texts. But another, underexamined, feature of the cult book is this: in contrast to the examples above, it can sometimes age really badly. Every bit as badly as giant shoulder pads, velour tracksuits and platform hiking boots.
*(Of course, this headline will only work if we assume that at one point in the past I was cool.)