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"Still, jealousy is a strange transformer of characters." [NOBL]

In a TED talk, Parul Sehgal (on Twitter as @parul_sehgal), editor of The New York Times Book Review, makes An Ode to Envy, in which she explores the origins of jealousy.

What is jealousy, actually? What motivates the feeling and why is it so easy to get whipped up into a frenzy of jealousy? It turns out that literature - specifically fiction - has given us a laboratory to explore the emotion. Sehgal gives examples from Proust to Sherlock Holmes, to show how envy and jealousy are not so different from a quest for knowledge.

It's a fascinating and thought-provoking talk (as all TED talks are), with great self-awareness and some humor. Ms. Sehgal clearly has a grasp of the breadth of fiction and is able to pull intelligent and specific examples out to illustrate her points.

One last thing that endears Sehgal to us: her website is subtitled incunabula. The astute Sherlockians among you will realize that Edgar W. Smith, BSI wrote The Incunabular Sherlock Holmes in 1958.