The literary community seemingly can't go five years without someone notable declaring the novel dead.
The novel is a relatively new literary format. Though fictional storytelling has been a tradition since the Greek and Roman empires, the first precursor to the modern novel was Miguel de Cervantes' Don Quixote in 1605. The form truly came to popular prominence in the 18th century through writers like Henry Fielding and Daniel Defoe. Many scholars, such as Margaret Anne Doody, cite the 18th century as the beginning of "the novel" we know today, because of the rise in literary criticism that happened during the same period, but the novel's creation date is still a matter of heated debate.
As, apparently, is the date of its death. Critics have been declaring the form dead for nearly a century now. And decades of past failed predictions don't seem to deter people from repeating them. Observe:
August 20, 1954— Harold Nicholson says the novel is dead in The Observer.
Fall 1955— Norman Mailer says the novel is dead.
October 28, 1965 — Frank Kermode says the novel is always dying in the New York Review of Books.
June 21, 1992 — Robert Coover says that all books are dying in The New York Times.
September 26, 1992‚— William Grimes says the novel is dying but not dead in The New York Times.
December 24, 2007– Caleb Crain says the novel is dying in The New Yorker.
November 20, 2008— Zadie Smith says the novel is dying in The New York Review of Books.
October 29, 2009— Phillip Roth says the novel is dead in an interview.
July 3, 2010—Lee Seigel declares the novel dead in The Observer.
August 22, 2011—Evan Morrison says the novel might be dead in The Guardian.
October 31, 2011— Mark Bauerlein says the novel is declining in Minding the Campus.
January 13, 2013— Sam Byers says the novel is dying on Salon.
May 2, 2014— Will Self says the novel is REALLY dead in The Guardian.
May 4, 2014— A twitter is created to chronicle the Death of the Novel.
May 15, 2014— Scott Christian says the novel is dead in GQ.