Hero, meet your villain; or, never mind

It's a common trope in fiction: a final confrontation between the central hero of a story and its central villain. It's an important trope in Westerns, both on the page and screen -- Clint Eastwood's "Unforgiven" is just one famous example. And we see it in works of fiction that are too many to count: … Continue reading Hero, meet your villain; or, never mind

Anna Karenina and Madame Bovary Discuss Their Suicides

"Anna Karenina" is not quite letting me go. Partly that's because it was just that good. I went back to re-read Part 8; and generally I don't re-read books until years later; but I had to drink in that last section of the novel again, and slowly. Partly the book is hanging on because I've … Continue reading Anna Karenina and Madame Bovary Discuss Their Suicides

The Female Quixote

December 31, 2020 I’ve read Charlotte Lennox's “The Female Quixote” (Kwicksoht), and I struggled through much of the first half, but the effort was well worth it.  I flew through the last 100 pages. Lennox’s novel was inspired by Cervantes and later inspired Austen, two authors I’ve recently discovered, so I really wanted to read … Continue reading The Female Quixote

Jane Austen stats

November 24, 2020 If I searched right, the terms “persuasion” and “persuade”, or variations like “persuadable”, appear – 68 times in “Emma” 46 times in “Mansfield Park” 52 times in “Pride and Prejudice” 42 times in “Sense and Sensibility” 32 times in “Persuasion” 24 times in “Northanger Abbey” The novels are listed from longest to … Continue reading Jane Austen stats

Northanger Abbey movie (2007)

November 16, 2020 I’ve just seen the 2007 version of “Northanger Abbey”, and maybe my expectations were too high, but it was disappointing.  Everything is too broad and obvious.  We know, for example, who are the bad apples because they are clearly, ominously bad as soon as we see them.  All mystery, ambiguity, and uncertainty … Continue reading Northanger Abbey movie (2007)

Finishing Pride and Prejudice

October 28, 2020 Pride and Prejudice has many great chapters, including of course Darcy’s first proposal to Lizzie, but for my money the best chapter is the one following, when Lizzie receives his explanatory letter and her mind is sent into full-on turbulence, as she struggles with new information.  How she goes back and forth, … Continue reading Finishing Pride and Prejudice

Starting Pride and Prejudice

October 22, 2020 I'm 20 chapters into "Pride and Prejudice." Last spring when we went into quarantine, I ordered a Jane Austen Complete Works, having revisited the 1995 mini-series a few weeks before.  I read several chapters, including Lizzie’s three marriage proposal scenes and her final confrontation with Lady de Bourgh.  I’m going to read … Continue reading Starting Pride and Prejudice