« Franco Moretti, founder of the Stanford Literary Lab, which applies data analysis to the study of fiction, argues that certain books survive through the choices of ordinary readers, a process something like evolution: “Literary history is shaped by the fact that readers select a literary work, keeping it alive across the generations, because they like some of its prominent traits.”
What traits make Austen special, and can they be measured with data? Can literary genius be graphed? »

Source : The Word Choices That Explain Why Jane Austen Endures – NYTimes.com