Tuesday, May 31, 2005

After writing about the lack of embodiment in the new Star Wars movie, it was refreshing to find this editorial in the LA Times: Natural Selection Killed Desdemona: Jealousy, hate, fear -- human biology beats in the heart of good literature by David P. Barash and Nanelle R. Barash, co-authors of "Madame Bovary's Ovaries: A Darwinian Look at Literature." The Barashes posit that biology is very present on the written page.

Human nature pulses inside every writer, and, when artfully communicated, is understood by every reader because it is so deeply shared. It is the breath and beat of living organisms embodied in an organic world of sex, blood, food, fear, anger, love, hopes, trees, animals, air, water, sky, rocks and dirt. Now that biologists have begun clarifying their perspective on what it means to be human, it is time to look for it for ourselves where it has always been — in our greatest, most resonant stories.

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