Just a quick reminder that my survey monkey is still open! The amazing responses I’ve gotten so far are leading to generating lots of material — keep responding! Take the survey here. I’m genuinely looking for gut-responses, there’s no definition of lie, you don’t have to denote the people you lie to, I’m just curious what people aren’t completely truthful about.
Back to our regularly scheduled programing…
“There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature.” — Jane Austen
Jane Austen is one of my favourite writers. To this day I collect editions of Pride and Prejudice that I find in used book shops, and when I go to different cities or countries I look for copies that aren’t printed where I live. My favourites are the ones that have inscriptions in them. [cough cough christmas is less than forty days away]
In one of the (many) creative writing classes I have taken someone looked at me and said “Why would anyone want to take a Jane Austen class? She just wrote glorified, Regency era romance novels. There’s nothing special about them.” I, of course, took the Jane Austen Lit class offered at my undergrad, and while I vehemently disagreed beforehand, the class itself justified my extremely visceral response to an ignorant statement.
Jane Austen wrote female characters outside of the prescribed roles that they were meant to fill. No, none of her characters became politicians or took over the world, but the notion that a woman could refuse marriage, travel on her own, and even still find a husband after her reputation was tarnished was a radical idea.
I would venture as far as to say that today writing novels about gay women in politics is a similarly radical notion (though this is changing rapidly as we speak).
I took great offense to the dismissal of one of my favourite writers because not only does she have a beautiful narrative voice, but the subject matter itself matters to the history of women writers.
I don’t want to turn this into a research paper about the validity of Jane Austen scholarship (don’t worry, I’ve written that paper) but this was on my mind today, and seeing as I don’t want to start a final paper, here I am.
P.S. can emiry come over and watch der movie with me?!