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  •  I hear you. My other Austen diary covered the Pros (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JayRaye, RiveroftheWest

    and Cons of Jane Austen as a writer. I won't ask you to read a third of my diaries, but here is my analysis of what's missing from Austen's writing:

    First, Austen is all about the gentle middle, and leaves out all kinds of wild extremity. She sticks to towns and villages - not London, but not too far away, either. No Scotland, let alone continental Europe or beyond. She pays attention to the middle classes - we see very little of the truly poor or the really rich or powerful. She likes things small and peaceful. When she wrote, England was embroiled in wars on the continent, men were marching off, and coming back covered in glory or death. Yet these earth-shattering events hardly figure in her novels. Socially, geographically, thematically, she sticks to love and society in everyday settings.

    Second, Austen is a very feminine writer. That's a huge word with many implications. All I mean in this case is, she writes about the subjects we now make chick flicks out of, and she avoids the brutal masculine subjects that appealed to Hemingway and Norman Mailer. When it comes to Romance, all the subtleties of relationships, psychology - and what is admirable, or trustworthy, or dangerous in our characters: she gets all that to the nth degree. If you find those intricacies fascinating, you will love Jane Austen. If you want wars, bullfights and murders, you'll have to look elsewhere.

    Even in her psychology, Austen prefers the gentle middle. Dante and Dostoevsky are penetrating in their visions, but they're interested in heroes and lunatics, in angels and demons. They look in the dark, twisted corners of human nature, and they explore the brilliant illumination of heavenly grace. Austen won't go very far up, down, or out of the everyday. There is a coziness to her world: bad things happen, but you don't have to worry about a sympathetic main character getting hacked to pieces. She's no George R. R. Martin.

    "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

    by Brecht on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 04:59:08 PM PST

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