For an Archaeology of Biopoetics: A Response to Michele Cometa
For an archaeology of biopoetics. (Mauro Pala)It is useful to look at current literary criticism to understand how different the Darwinist or biopoetic approach to literature is. Current literary theory tends to look at texts as the product of particular social conditions, or as a network of references to other texts. Literary Darwinists instead aim at studying literature through biology, not politics or semiotics. They also take as a given that literature derives its only truth from laws of nature. And yet, in some cases, as Cometa’s provocative paper suggests, issues tackled by practitioners of biopoetics coincide with the ground on which scholars of biopsychology, cognitive rhetoric, evolutionary psychology develop their research. The latter would agreed on the fact that what the literary Darwinists call human nature consists in a set of highly structured set of motivational and cognitive dispositions that have evolved through an adaptive process regulated by natural selection. Seen in this light, biopoetics may help, especially in its recent evolution through German academia, understanding the processes through which metaphors are conceived and both language and communication work
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