It's so strange to me that we all praised and adore things, but would never consider supporting them in a modern setting. There are many examples of this: poetry (very unpopular nowadays; not in the amount of it, but by the respectability of it), obscure, but interesting essays like A Hanging, by Orwell. But not least of these is the most impressive, which is the epic poem.
These epics, like the Illiad, the Divine Comedy, Paradise Lost, et al., are praised and taught almost as if they are a standard for incredible writing and story telling.
But I simply cannot see any modern writer putting forth an epic poem; and further still, I could reasonably suspect that it would not find its way to the best seller list.
It's an interesting question of psychology of why we praised past things, but would never wish to see them in a modern setting, or find them pretentious, but I will stick with a simpler question:
What specifically happened to the epic poem? Where did it leave us and when? And why?