Lit Crit was More Than You Ever Wanted To Know Was re Answers From Diana See The Wrtings On The Walls etc
ven at vvcrane.fsnet.co.uk
Fri Jun 1 21:36:36 EDT 2001
replying to the writing,s on the wall thread I said
> >I wanted to add my two pennorth but had gotten behind on my
> >replies. So I'll just say that I only got seven of the quotes, including
> >all but one Connie Willis and I just cannot believe Jane Austen
> >ever wrote anything so interesting.
and Hallie replied>
:) *Which* book of JA's did you read, Ven??? Or is this bringing
> back to the stupid teacher thread(s)?
Well I decided to answer this under the Lit Crit (or stupid teacher
thread, lol) as it fitted in with some other stuff I wanted to say. The
way discussions are diverging only to converge again at the
moment is making it very hard to label posts. I'm starting to think
we may as well label them either "Summat to do with Diana
Wynne Jones , Literature, and/or the Meaning of Life" or "Food
Again". All of which is delaying having to write about the dreaded
JA! -- feels like homework.
Actually I was lucky enough not to have had stupid teachers (not in
English anyway), but I don't think I ever quite understood what they
wanted. It wasn't until years later that I understood my problem
with comprehension questions was that I didn't know what sort of
data base I was being tested agasinst. For example it never
ocurred to me that asked a question like "what does the author
mean by a verdant portal?" I was supposed to say "a green door" -
- I thought that was too obvious to be the answer, and would
attempt to the intention in the choice of phrase! I can remember
one of the teachers saying I seemed to go around the point, but I
just didn't get it.
OK I'll get on with it.......... I studied Northanger Abbey for O level
and Persuasion for A level. At the time I found Northanger Abbeyto
be interesting in concept but pretty dull in execution (all the
Janeites are gonna crucify me). Still, expecting 15 - 16 year old
girls to appreciate a novel which, essentially, takes the piss out of
young girls is expecting a bit much in my opinion. I remember
getting to the laundry list and wishing it would turn out to be
something exciting to liven up the thing -- although I could tell it
wasn't going to be. Oh, and I got the Castle of Otranto out of the
library because it sounded a lot more fun, but it wasn't. For me
and my friends the best bit in NA was when Catherine says "Oh
these odious gigs!" .............. "Why tis James!""
because we knew a guy in a band called James ....................
Anyhow thats why I was surpprised where that quote was from.
Persuasion is the novel that really made me dislike JA. Based on
this novel I think she was spiteful, narrow minded, parochial and
quite lacking in empathy. I've always had a soft spot for Mary you
see................ Part of the way we were taught Persuasion was to
divide the characters up into sympathetic, Anne Elliot, Captain
Wentworth, the old naval couple and some woman friend of Anne's,
and unsympathetic, everyone else but especially Sir Walter,
Elizabeth and Mary (and that silly bint who falls off a wall or
someething). Wre were also told that tyhe characters were partly
based on JA herself and some of her family. Well, frankly poor old
put upon Anne gets up my nose, its having it both ways to
represent oneself as uncomplaining in a book which does nothing
but complain about the rest of one's family. And I think only an
unempathetic, narrow minded and spiteful spinster would have
diagnosed her sister's problems as a mixture of hypochondria and
deceit. For heavens sake the poor woman had had three children at
the turn of the nineteenth century, not very surprising her health
All in my extremely biased opinion of course.
I hope this is enough to be getting on with. I'm going to start
Whoever you vote for the government will get back in.
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