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Primal fear: A Darwinian perspective on Dan Simmons' Song of Kali

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Abstract:

The emerging evolutionary approach to literature explores the way that culture and biology interact. As a branch of evolutionary literary criticism, Darwinian horror study sees horror fiction as crucially dependent on evolved properties of the human constitution. This article argues that a Darwinian perspective on Dan Simmons' 1985 novel Song of Kali best explains the atheist author's preoccupation with themes of the supernatural, and accounts for the novel's emotional impact as a result of humanity's evolutionary history.

Keywords: DAN SIMMONS; DARWINIAN CRITICISM; EMOTIONS; EVOLUTION; SONG OF KALI; SUPERNATURAL HORROR

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1386/host.2.1.89_1

Publication date: June 1, 2011

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  • Horror Studies intends to serve the international academic community in the humanities and specifically those scholars interested in horror. Exclusively examining horror, this journal will provide interested professionals with an opportunity to read outstanding scholarship from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, including work conceived as interdisciplinary. By expanding the conversation to include specialists concerned with diverse historical periods, varied geography, and a wide variety of expressive media, this journal will inform and stimulate anyone interested in a wider and deeper understanding of horror
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