Many say great literature can withstand the test of time. I have been wondering if it is true.

A great book may be forgotten because of political reasons. I'm sure many didn't survive the political climate of the time and got censored, banned or burned. They did not withstand the test of time.

Others might not have made it because the publisher invested little in marketing, and few ever got to see them. Or the publisher had strange taste and did not like certain kinds of books. They did not withstand the test of time.

And then some great works which hardly leave the writer's possession. Who would have known Emily Dickinson to be such a great poet if we didn't stumble upon her writing? And for every Dickinson, how many talents did we fail to uncover?
I completely agree with you!!! Who knows how many wonderful books have been burnt just because powerful men didn't want people to read them... Which books by Emily Dickinson have you read so far? I find them fascinating...
i think you mix two questions

a. how a literature became a great? by the test of time?

b. can great literature withstand the test of time?

for the former, i say no.

for the latter, i say yes.
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The two questions are related, no?

If, say, The Dream of Red Chamber (the most famous Chinese novel) got banned by the government at that time, how could it withstand the test of time?
ok lemme tell u sth that i think is amazing...it`s the quran our holy book as muslim it did stand the test of time and is gonna i`m positive!! and the quran facinates is as arabs cuz it is originally arabic and there are amazing stories told in such a beuatiful way that no one could write the same !! the arabs in the past could not belive it they were convinced that it wasen`t told by a normal person and no one could write the same!! it still facinates us until this day!! so thats one of the books that stood the test of time!!