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Jane Austen

Posted: May 4th, 2010, 12:37 pm
by bcomet
I finally got around to reading Jane Austen. I finished Pride and Prejudice and have started on a second novel.

Whereas, in the beginning of Pride and Prejudice, I thought there was a lot more telling (that is currently frowned upon) than showing, I got hooked by about page 60.

I'm curious. Who here has read Jane Austen and what do you like, dislike, or think of her writing? (I know there are a lot of opinions out there, but I was curious about the ones on this forum.)

Re: Jane Austin

Posted: May 4th, 2010, 1:13 pm
by Mira
I love Jane Austin. Aside from just the happy romance aspect, I think she was an extremely astute observer of human nature and interactions. I love how she takes almost a microscopic slice of a dynamic, and tracks character development that stems from it in a way that keeps the reader hooked. It rings true and reads beautifully. Can't do much better than that!

I hope you enjoy the rest of them. :)

Re: Jane Austin

Posted: May 5th, 2010, 2:17 am
by FK7
I loved Lizzie in Pride & Prejudice, as well as the mother. Austin was very emancipated for her time, and wrote about strong female protagonists that kept their heads up in front of imposing men, such as Darcy. I don't usually like "feminist" writing, if we could call it such a thing, but considering the context, it was well done. Both movies adaptation were also fantastic. You might like Sense and Sensibility too, though I preferred P&P by far. There are the only two I read from her.

Jane Eyre shares a lot of similarities with P&P, even though C. Brontë wrote in 35 years later. I even liked it more than her sister's Wuthering Heights. I preferred Lizzie to Jane, but in revenge Mr. Rochester resonated more with me than Darcy.

It's very "literary" though, which makes it a bit more heavy for me to read.

Re: Jane Austin

Posted: May 5th, 2010, 8:15 am
by Bryan Russell/Ink
Hive mind spelling mistake! AustEn. Yes, I have been greatly marred by my time as a teacher. I'm even tempted to make the correction in red... there's probably a support group for me somewhere.

And Austen is fantastic. She wrote, basically, the template for the romantic comedy genre. And yet she did it better than anyone that has followed her. The writing is beautiful and full of strong voices. It's intelligent, critical, deep. It's realistic, and yet has elements of social satire. I love how her characters all act for themselves. The secondary characters don't feel like they're acting in support of the plot, just to fill a certain role. You feel their own desires, their needs, and how these influence their actions.

And just great writing. I'm a fan. Obviously. :)

Re: Jane Austen

Posted: May 5th, 2010, 10:14 am
by bcomet
Thanks Ink.

Re: Jane Austen

Posted: May 7th, 2010, 4:43 am
by romana
Glad to hear you started reading Austen - she's one of my favorites. Actually, since I love 19th century literature, I'm actually a big fan of telling rather than showing (I know, I'm out of step) and I sometimes get frustrated with modern books that seem more like I'm reading a movie or television script rather than a novel. That's when I retreat to Austen, Hardy, Dickens, James. I love Austen's biting social commentary and, of course, her wonderful protagonists. I took my two young sons to London recently and made a day trip to Bath (where Austen used to live and where two of her books are largely set). I dragged them on a 1 1/2-hour Jane Austen walking tour - fascinating for me, a complete bore for them. They only like stories about dragons, knights and warriors...

Enjoy the rest of the novels!

Re: Jane Austen

Posted: May 13th, 2010, 10:51 am
by heather_hangs_it
For some reason I really wanted to read 'Persuasion'. I went and bought it and - couldn't even really get started. She lost me before she ever got started. Granted, I am an impatient person by nature, but I usually have the patience for a good book. But this particular one starts out with the most boring recounting of the family lineage and by a character whom I could care less about. I haven't picked it up since. I just don't have the heart.

Now Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, on the other hand, I've gotten over halfway through. Hopefully that's not a terrible reflection on me as a person or a reader! I think Seth Grahame Smith does an great job of stuffing a zombie plot in between the fibers of Austen's original plot. Sue me.


Re: Jane Austen

Posted: May 14th, 2010, 7:13 am
by eringayles
I loved the Austen era, and Dickens, and most classics, but ain't it strange how times change (love poetry too). If the classics were submitted today, the myriad of rejection slips would bring out the smelling salts, methinks - not due to the themes ('your concept is enthralling, your premise worthy, BUT ...') and the 'buts' would throw themselves upon the swords of adverbs, adjectives, and telling-not-showing.
I wonder if, in one hundred years from now, a futuristic Stephanie Meyer pops up with a 'new, fresh voice' born of thesaurus addiction, and starts the cycle rolling again - as cycles are wont to do . . .