1. See Deirdre Barrett, Supernormal Stimuli: How Primal Urges Overran Their Evolutionary Purpose (New York: W. W. Norton, 2010). Barrett observes: “Animal biology developed a concept that is crucial to understanding the problems instincts create when disconnected from their natural environment—that of the supernormal stimulus… The essence of the supernormal stimulus is that the exaggerated intention can exert a stronger pull than the real thing” (3).
1. See Jean-Louis Dessalles, Why We Talk: The Evolutionary Origins of Language, trans. James Grieve (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007), 139–210.
2. See, for instance, Ruth Bottigheimer, Fairy Tales: A New History (Albany: State University of New York, 2009); Wilem de Blécourt, Tales of Magic, Tales of Print (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2011). I deal with these books in more detail in the appendixes.
3. Arthur Frank, Letting Stories Breathe: A Socio-Narratology (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010).
4. See, for instance, Michael Holquist, ed., The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays, trans. Caryl Emerson (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1981); Caryl Emerson, ed. and trans., Problems of Dostoyevsky’s Poetics (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1984).
5. Frank, Letting Stories Breathe, 14.
6. Ibid., 16.
7. Ibid., 17.
8. Marshall Poe, A History of Communications: Media and Society from the Evolution of Speech to the Internet (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011), 35.
9. Ibid., 18, 32.
10. See also Dan Sperber and Deirdre Wilson, Relevance: Communication and Cognition, 2nd ed. (London: Blackwell, 1995). The coauthors state: “The central claim of relevance theory is that the expectations of relevance raised by an utterance are precise enough, and predictable enough, to guide the hearer towards the speaker’s meaning. The aim is to explain in cognitively realistic terms what these expectations