FRESH IDEAS: How literature changed us over time

From Nautilus: "Western literature gradually progressed from narratives that relate actions and events to stories that portray minds in all their meandering, many-layered complexities. Literature certainly reflects the preoccupations of its time, but there is evidence that it may also reshape the minds of readers in unexpected ways.

"Stories that vault readers outside of their own lives and into characters' inner experiences may sharpen readers' general abilities to imagine the minds of others. If that's the case, the historical shift … from just-the-facts narration to the tracing of mental peregrinations may have helped to train precisely the skills that people needed to function in societies that were becoming more socially complex and ambiguous."

Read the original essay here.