The way we read a classic novel makes me feel that literature that used to be in existence has now been highly influenced by the non literature things mostly science. For example if there used to be a set where a girl sits and the branches trees are moving slowly, birds singing. This scene changes to something wierd. The girl sits inside her car. She waits for her boyfriend. There noise of people, vehicles are roaring to their limit and the ears are still at peace. This change in the way of our reading is indicating towards only one thing: literature is not same as it used to be.
I disagree! Most literature has always been set in present day, so saying that it's changed now from 30 years ago isn't any more meaningful than saying it irrevocably changed between 1700 and 1800. The pace of change is increasing along with society, but basic writing structures, motivations and whatever else remain the same.
Besides, people still write historical novels that capture 'classical' feels, if you're worried about that.
There are many theory in physic back in time or like in writing structure still applied to practice nowadays. We are all working on them till something come out from practice or experiment that we create a new practice or even a new theory or structure.
Like making a movie, if we are not putting a microwave idea into a scene, like our remote control, mobile phone, weather report data in news report on tv, or microwave which all using microwave, we still can make a movie telling this is the year of 2011. But if we do put some of them into a scene for the movie, it's easier for people to tell now and later that this story is happened in the year around the time.