Lit Crit and a lot of snipped stuff

Hallie O'Donovan hallieod at
Fri Jun 8 09:30:46 EDT 2001

>  > Ven wrote:
>>  >I've been enjoying the argument very much Hallie, and all the
>>  >ensuing discussion from everyone. I can't find the right metaphor,
>>  >so I'll just have to say that I feel like someone who has just tossed
>>  >something troublesome into the middle of a pack of somethings,
>>  >that are easily stirred up, and now I'm hiding round the
>>  >corner,grinning with glee, and hoping you,re all enjoying it as much
>>  >as I am. (btw the problem with the metaphor is that you are
>>  >obviously not ants or wasps)
>>  Oh nooo!  Having just reread Bellwether, I'm sure that the pack of
>>  somethings you're looking for is sheep! :)  "Why did you start
>>  working with fads/liking Jane Austen?" "Because everyone else was
>>  doing it"!  (But I swear it just isn't true!)
>lol lots. I've always felt more like a goat myself. Come to think of it
>on the Powers list Tim himself told a story that suggests the
>answer -- it was like what happens when one cat intoduces a live
>possum into a hitherto quiet bedroom full of lots of other cats. Only
>I was afraid I was the possum. What happens, according to Tim is
>that the bedroom looks as though the cat had, in fact, brought in
>two live gorillas and the possum, while physically unhurt, will need
>trauma counseling for for the next few years.

:)  (Was Tim Powers being the possum himself about something?) 

>  > >It was only yesterday, in conversation with Sarah, my
>>  >good mate who also likes Dwj and Austen, that I realised why JA
>>  >continues to bug me so much -- it's because of people like you and
>>  >Sarah, whose opinions I respect and who usually share my literary
>>  >tastes -- I just can't understand it! However I also realise that,
>>  >unlikely as it may be for me to start liking JA, its still more likely
>>  >than my persuading you all to hate her..............
>>  Well, as long as you realise that... :)
>Baa Baaaaaaahah hah

L(albeit painfully)OL!  I just have to say a thing or two in my <gets 
head stuck in fence>  defence.  <stares vacantly off into space> 
What was I saying?  Was I saying something by myself??? <plunges back 
into the middle of the flock>

Ok.  That's baaa - better now!  Seriously, I do have something to say 
about this, and it's just one of the several thoughts I have which 
bring this back to DWJ, Melissa!

Aside from my family, I knew no one who loved Jane Austen's books for 
literally years.  We didn't study any of her books in school, and the 
only person I knew in Eng. Lit. at Uni was the Awful Boyfriend, who 
was *scathing* when having to read Austen.  (I honestly got the 
impression that the majority of the student body and department felt 
the same way, but given his personality, I realise now that this is 
highly suspect.)

I checked Sherwood Smith's "opinionated riffs" on JA (thanks, btw, 
Bettina - I'd only seen her YA books page), and she talked about the 
way lots of people reacted to her liking for Austen with disbelief. 
Then I remembered the responses when we read P&P in my lit course 
this year.  A few people, including me, wrote saying that we'd loved 
JA for years and years, some were converted and really enjoyed it, 
and some found it stupid, dull etc.  And people doing lit courses 
with the Open University are not all readers, of course, but most of 
us are.

Then I read that Wordsworth was dismissive of Austen, and also found 
a really interesting essay about _Mansfield Park_.  The author 
mentioned briefly the fact that a lot of people disliked her and that 
many used MP as the justification.  (Mark Twain said she inspired in 
him an "animal repugnance".  Phew.)

Anyway, the rambling is mostly to suggest that there just might to be 
a disproportionate Austen bias on this list relative to the rest of 
the reading world.  And of course in doing so, to distinguish *my* 
liking for JA from a general wagging-my-tail-behind-me following of 
the flock.  :)  Where's my po-mo pink ribbon?


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