This is a handy tip for students, teachers, writers and editors of educational materials, and book reviewers.
Even though a lot of literature is narrated in the past tense, writers must use present tense when writing about literature.
Books, poetry, sculptures, paintings--they all exist in the present, despite the fact that they were created in the past. Anything that was created eons ago, but has remained part of our culture is to be written about in the present tense.
Daisy is the object of Gatsby's obsession.
Daisy was the object of Gatsby's obsession.
The same logic follows when talking about an author's use or method in creating the work:
Shakespeare creates an intimacy between Iago and the audience.NOT
Shakespeare created an intimacy between Iago and the audience.Initially, you may have to think about your use of tense as you write, especially if you are using quotations from the subject within your work. But don't worry, eventually it will become second nature.