"Rent there may be in Europe, where land has been improved by the labor put into it, but with us all the land is deteriorating from the labor put into it—in other words they’re working it out; so there’s no question of rent."
There are no more uses of "deteriorate" in the book.
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The situation could quickly deteriorate.
Writing, at its best, is a lonely life. Organizations for writers palliate the writer’s loneliness, but I doubt if they improve his writing. He grows in public stature as he sheds his loneliness and often his work deteriorates.