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Thread: Jane Austen

  1. #1

    Default Jane Austen

    So that the book swap club doesn't get mired down in Jnae Austen I thought I'd start a thread here so that we can discuss her merits, or lack thereof.
    I love Jane Austen and it makes me sad that her opus is so small especially in light of the fact that her later work was becoming so much more sophisticated
    TBH it bugs me when I see her represented primarily as a writer of romances because I always see her as a bit of a ***** (which is a compliment - I can't stand wishy washy nice people lol); a satirist and a feminist.
    I think that under the veneer of comic, romantic novels she said a great deal about the roles of women and men that remains true to this day.
    The character of Miss Bates in Emma is a figure of fun but Mr Knightley's sketch of her situation and future is a brilliant feminist and social analysis.
    As for the charge that she takes 100 pages to say what could have been said in three. I disagree - fictional writing is about setting a mood and tones as well conveying information - rushing the narrative would steal something very beautiful from it and deny us the wit that is so central to Jane Austen's writing. In fact the same charge could be laid at the feet of over half the great works of literature. Surely War and Peace could have been condensed to a novella


  2. #2

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    TBH it bugs me when I see her represented primarily as a writer of romances because I always see her as a bit of a ***** (which is a compliment - I can't stand wishy washy nice people lol); a satirist and a feminist.
    I agree, there is a huge load of social commentary in her books, it annoys me that it's considered chick lit! I guess though it does deal primarily with life in the domestic sphere which, even in this day and age, is something that the feminine psyche is most comfortable with.

    I also disagree with the charge that her books are too lengthy, unlike many male author's works of the time, they were published to be read in single installments, instead of wordy serial chapters. It means her plot lines are actually more concise than many of her contemporaries.

    I love that her stories have stood the test of time and can readily be dramatised to film. I loved the Keira Knightley Pride and Prejudice but best of all I love Becoming Jane, which is about Jane herself (with film-making liberties taken of course). Sublime!

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by dachlostar View Post
    As for the charge that she takes 100 pages to say what could have been said in three. I disagree - fictional writing is about setting a mood and tones as well conveying information - rushing the narrative would steal something very beautiful from it and deny us the wit that is so central to Jane Austen's writing.
    I agree with you in regards to rushing the narrative... I definately think this is important in any fictional writing.

    Like I said before, I definately appreciate her work, and how cleverly they were written.... I just don't like them
    TBH I probably haven't read enough of her work to even have much of an opinion really but I've read enough to know I don't want to read anymore.... (am ducking for cover now!!! )

    ETA - Dach... I hope you still love me enough that we can be friends!
    Last edited by Hollybolly; June 1st, 2008 at 07:46 PM.

  4. #4

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    I read Austen in Year 11 and 12.

    I absolutely love Pride and Prejudice, mainly for the portrayal of Elizabeth. She was strong enough to tell Darcy exactly what she thought of him after that pathetic proposal. She also refused to marry her cousin, whereas her best friend realised that she had little choice but to accept.

    I love her, because even then she was ready to hold onto her beliefs.

    However, I was quite ready to give Emma a firm slap. That pathetic riddle about her name - "What two letters of the alphabet are there, that express perfection?" 'MA' - had me throwing the book at the wall a couple of times. The character really irritated me and I haven't read any other Austen - after being so enamoured with Pride and Prejudice and so disappointed with Emma.

    I also just wanted to let you know that the ABC is having an Austen festival, and Emma is on tonight at 8.30pm, for anyone that is interested.

  5. #5

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    I just bought the complete works of Jane Austin. A beautifully bound black book in the style of an old fashion book which I love.

    I've started with Mansfield Park coz I have never read or seen that one before. I'll be the first to admit that I have started reading a few of her books but never finished because they are so wordy and some of the words I haven't understood. But I'm making it my aim to actually finish reading a story. I see it as a way to enjoy a good story while improving my vocab & spelling. She certainly has a wonderful way with words. So far I found with Mansfield Park that she just jumps right into the story rather than fluffing around for one or two chapters like so many other writers seem to do. I like when authors just get straight into it like she does. Her life facinates me and any time there is a documentary or something about her, I love to watch it.
    My whole inpiration for wanting to write a book came from her. I just have no idea where to start. One day I hope to write something, even it it never gets published.

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