Literature is a living art form.
Yes, books are printed out of dead forests and each story comes with its own customized ending or demise, but that is never really the end. Mythologist Joseph Campbell used to argue that all stories are variations on one story, what he called the hero’s journey. I always thought of that as a beautiful theory, creating a nice feeling of unity to all tales, everywhere, no matter the culture of origin.
I like to picture literature as a great tree with hundreds of branches. If one of the branches on that literary tree was Charles Dickens, the next one branching off from it would be Donna Tartt.