Letter: In brief (1)

July 27, 2001

Proponents of a "Darwinian-based theory of literature" observe that our ability to tell stories is as much a product of evolution as our ability to make tools. They therefore declare all other versions of literary criticism obsolete ("When epic boys meet Hardy girls," THES , July 13). But their theory of literature is also a product of evolution and is on their account merely propagating the genes of its authors. So if their theory is right, they do not need to be taken seriously.

Richard Smith
University of Durham.

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