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Jane Austen

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  • Jane Bigelow
    Diane Joy wrote: Jane Austen s books feel like a break, in a way, partly because the issues she deals with (marriage and finding one s place in society) are
    Message 1 of 1 , May 14, 2003
      Diane Joy wrote:

      "Jane Austen's books feel like "a break," in a way, partly because the
      issues she deals with (marriage and finding one's place in society) are so
      different for us. In her terms, social slights and broken engagements
      could feel as crushing as graphic violence: for her readers, these events
      have economic consequences that they don't have for us. ---djb"

      Yes, but she doesn't actually go into exhaustive detail about the
      consequences of social slights and broken engagements. They could be
      drastic! In fact, her touch is so light that many modern readers have to
      have it explained to them: these aren't just the transient disappointment
      of not getting a date to the prom; these really can be life-changing events
      for Austen's characters.

      I have heard that even earlier authors had problems with evil being more
      interesting than good. Milton had this problem in Paradise Lost, according
      to a long-ago English lit class that I took; don't know if this is still
      accepted theory.

      Heroic fantasy appeals less to me than once it did; I can't help wondering
      how they're taking care of all those horses and who gets stuck with the
      grubby stuff, or how our heroes are dealing with keeping clean enough to
      stay healthy. (I've camped out just enough to know it isn't easy,
      especially if water is in short supply.) On the other hand, I can't stnd
      books that seem to focus on little else.

      Thanks for the v. thoughtful reply.

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