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Why Dead Authors Can Thrill Modern Readers

An interesting introduction to literary Darwinism, from LiveScience.com: Carroll hypothesized that modern readers would gravitate toward protagonists who displayed pro-social tendencies or promoted group cooperation — similar to how ancestral human hunter-gatherers valued such behavior. He joined forces with another Literary Darwinist, Jonathan Gottschall, as well as two evolutionary psychologists on the study. Their online survey asked respondents to identify characters from classic 19th century British novels as protagonists, antagonists,…