If scientists were in charge of literature

Almost all the novels ever written fall in one of four categories:

1st person singular, present tense (The Hunger Games)
1st person singular, past tense (Huckleberry Finn)
3rd person singular, present tense (One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest)
3rd person singular, past tense (For Whom the Bell Tolls)

Approximately what fractions fall in each?

This is just the kind of question a scientist embarking on a study of literature might begin with. The funny thing is, most literary scholars wouldn’t go near it. How unimaginative, how mechanical!

I confess I’d be glad to know the answer. So might some literary scholars, I imagine, though they might not confess it.

[2 July 2014]

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