Monday, November 7, 2016

Jane Austen (1775 – 1817)


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“Jane Austen attacked her society’s absolute, dichotomized notions of masculinity and femininity, humans and nature, the moral and immoral, conduct books and Gothic novels, the sublime and the beautiful, religion and science, the public and the private, and gestured towards a worldview which recognized the multiplicity of reality.”….

"There are as many forms of love as there are moments in time.”…Mansfield Park

“Jane Austen (1775 – 1817) was an English novelist known primarily for her six major novels, which interpret, critique and comment upon the British landed gentry at the end of the 18th century. Austen's plots often explore the dependence of women on marriage in the pursuit of favourable social standing and economic security…..Sense and Sensibility (1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814) and Emma (1815), Northanger Abbey (1818) and Persuasion (1818)….Her novels were published anonymously and brought her little fame during her lifetime.”

“It is happy for you that you possess the talent of flattering with delicacy. May I ask whether these pleasing attentions proceed from the impulse of the moment, or are they the result of previous study?” ……Pride and Prejudice

“Part of Austen's fame rests on the historical and literary significance that she was the first woman to write great comic novels. Samuel Johnson's influence is evident, in that she follows his advice to write "a representation of life as may excite mirth”….Her humour comes from her modesty and lack of superiority, allowing her most successful characters, such as Elizabeth Bennet, to transcend the trivialities of life, which the more foolish characters are overly absorbed in…. Austen used comedy to explore the individualism of women's lives and gender relations, and she appears to have used it to find the goodness in life, often fusing it with "ethical sensibility", creating artistic tension.”….Polhemus, Robert M. "Jane Austen's Comedy" 1986.

“I am determined that only the deepest love will induce me into matrimony. So, I shall end an old maid, and teach your ten children to embroider cushions and play their instruments very ill.” …..Pride and Prejudice

“A parody of the Gothic novel, Northanger Abbey……. As a satire of the Gothic novel, Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey quietly subverts the systems of Western patriarchy reinforced by the genre and its literary predecessors, questioning the structural domination of women and nature…..In Northanger’s plot, this model of reliably unreliable intentional inversion gestures towards a postmodern inquisition of the potential for any absolute reality. ….the Biblically ordained and immutable structures of patriarchy look as artificial and excessive as the Gothic tropes. The absolute language of the conduct book was the norm, not the exception, and far from being removed from its own argument that the Gothic offered an absurd, oppressive, and dangerous vision of reality, Austen here incriminates every ‘moral’ statement descended from on high that reinforced the domination of women and their culturally conditioned ignorance….. The Gothic heroine was stupid because convention dictated it; Catherine and her gender were only stupid because they had been socialized to be so…..Northanger Abbey challenged the absolute prescriptions presented by the dominating ideologies of patriarchy…..the Gothic romance derived from forms popular in Austen’s England: Greek mythology (Cupid and Psyche, Orpheus and Eurydice, Demeter and Persephone), fairytales popularized by oral tradition and by the collections of Charles Perrault (“Beauty and the Beast,” “Cinderella”), and narrative theodicy (the Eve story in Genesis, Pandora).”….The Moral Landscape of the Gothic Heroine by Brett Shollenberger…..An Ecofeminist Reading of Northanger Abbey…..

"I have been used to consider poetry as the food of love," said Darcy.” ― Pride and Prejudice

“Everytime I read 'Pride and Prejudice' I want to dig her up and beat her over the skull with her own shin-bone.” ― Mark Twain

“Jane Austen easily used half a page describing someone else's eyes….”


Northern New Mexico

November 2016


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