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View Diary: Books Go Boom!   Who is the Greatest Woman Novelist since 1950? (294 comments)

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  •  Okay, my rejoinder: (2+ / 0-)
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    Brecht, RiveroftheWest

    You are correct in noting all the influences Austen read, and which affected her prose style.

    In England, before Austen, you had Defoe, Fielding, Richardson, Smollett, Sterne and Swift. Austen read most of what they'd written. France had Voltaire, Rousseau, Diderot and Prévost. What Austen wrote reads more like a modern novel than anything before her - but she did draw on a lot of preliminary steps.
    Sure, she drew on what came before her: as those who came after drew on what she did.

    She is the mother of us all.

    Dafoe, Fielding, and Swift were nowhere near as good. I can't speak to the rest b/c...well, they aren't important enough for me to have ever run across their work.

    Voltaire? Yes, certainly. But not a modern novel. Picaresque is NOT a "modern novel." It may have its charms, but "modern novel" is not among them.

    Rousseau? Wasn't he a painter? /snark

    Irony takes a worse beating from Republicans than Wile E. Coyote does from Acme. --Tara the Antisocial Social Worker

    by Youffraita on Sat Jun 15, 2013 at 01:17:02 AM PDT

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    •  Isn't it more like a baton that is passed (2+ / 0-)
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      RiveroftheWest, Brecht

      rather than a birthing of something entirely new?  Those who came before Austen were really the creators of the novel form which Austen refined with artistry and wit.  I don't see her as the "mother" of the novel, the "Queen" perhaps, but not the "mother."
      The novel continued to be shaped and reshaped in the 19th and 20th centuries.  Today, new writers are doing the same thing, picking up the baton and running with it.

      It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

      by Radiowalla on Sat Jun 15, 2013 at 09:15:53 AM PDT

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