Friday, April 2, 2010

Literary Critics Turn to Science

The New York Times has a truly fascinating article today about how English scholars are beginning to look at cognitive science in relation to literature. They think our preference for fiction might arise out of certain survival traits that we've evolved. The article even explains why we love Jane Austen so deeply, and why so many find Virginia Woolf to be so complex.

An excerpt:
"They say they’re convinced science not only offers unexpected insights into individual texts, but that it may help to answer fundamental questions about literature’s very existence: Why do we read fiction? Why do we care so passionately about nonexistent characters? What underlying mental processes are activated when we read?"

If anyone from the UNL English Department is reading the blog today, you should definitely make a class about this!

No comments: