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November 07, 2005

Austen in the eyes of Literary Darwinists

A new view on Pride and Prejudice, as an example of this form of criticism:

...[F]or an emerging school of literary criticism known as Literary Darwinism, the novel is significant for different reasons. Just as Charles Darwin studied animals to discover the patterns behind their development, Literary Darwinists read books in search of innate patterns of human behavior: child bearing and rearing, efforts to acquire resources (money, property, influence) and competition and cooperation within families and communities. They say that it's impossible to fully appreciate and understand a literary text unless you keep in mind that humans behave in certain universal ways and do so because those behaviors are hard-wired into us. For them, the most effective and truest works of literature are those that reference or exemplify these basic facts.

The Literary Darwinists [NYT Magazine]

Yours, &c., LC | 12:57 PM | Jane , Writing & Language | TrackBack (0)

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