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ZANNACHAN's Photo ZANNACHAN Posts: 9,632
4/24/13 2:22 P

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Thanks for sharing that link. I've never really read Jane Austen as a scholar--my field is social science, not literature--but I do think she has captured human interaction in a way that few authors have--even since her. Her books feel very natural and simple when you read them but underneath that they are anything but simple.

I've read a fair amount of game theory, especially in how it applies to the trust literature. It's interesting stuff.

Zanna (or Zannachan), from Michigan

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ADAGIO_CON_BRIO's Photo ADAGIO_CON_BRIO Posts: 12,176
4/24/13 11:34 A

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Jane Austen can be a hard sell. I was amused by this article:

www.nytimes.com/2013/04/23/books/mic
ha
el-chwe-author-sees-jane-austen-as-gR>ame-theorist.html


I'm teaching a Jane Austen class in the autumn and it has its challenges. I don't think that she is best read in a brief period of time. I also think it's really hard to persuade readers of her innovations and her brilliance because it seems so natural. The way she had of writing dialogue quickly became standard in the English novel so it seems "old hat" to us.

"Mansfield Park" is possible the most "controversial" of the novels. People either hate the heroine, Fanny Price, or admire her devoutly. I did not like her at first but in old age have come to really appreciate this novel and its characters. It is indeed scandalous for its time.

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ZANNACHAN's Photo ZANNACHAN Posts: 9,632
4/20/13 12:09 A

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Another HUGE Austen fan here... I've read all her books except for Mansfield Park. Unlike most favorite authors, I really saved her books up, savoring them rather than gobbling them up like candy. I will be sad when I have finally read them all and there won't be any new books to look forward to.

Natalie, I agree--Austen is a brilliant author, especially for her time. Her writing style is so simple and yet evocative... few people who try to replicate her writing style or story type manage to do so in such slim but complex novels, for one thing! And while some people may dismiss her as a romance writer--she did inspire the romance genre, particularly regency romances!--she wrote about the lives of women, in a world where their options were pretty limited. Take Pride and Prejudice for example--a family with 5 unmarried daughters, and the estate entailed. If at least some of them didn't marry well, their future is very dim indeed. If they don't find love, their chances of being happy are limited indeed. Yet despite Austen's deceptively simple story foundations, she manages to layer on wit, humor, and even social commentary. She was also unusual for her time in that not only did she write about women, she wrote about relatively ordinary people--the families of a country gentleman, not a Duke or a prince.

1SALMON1, I have not, but it's been on my reading list for forever and you just bumped it up quite a bit!

Nancy, I'm sorry that you didn't like her. She's not really a particular genre--but she does have a very distinctive writing style I've never really seen in another author, and if it dosen't work for you, it doesn't work for you. I prefer Austin to Jane Eyre (the only book by Charlotte Bronte I've read) myself--but that's a matter of taste. I enjoyed Jane Eyre, mind you--but it's much more dense and Gothic, even though Bronte herself was also defying tradition with her strong, persevering heroine (female characters at the time tended to be divinely good, frail, and tragic--Jane Eyre was none of the above.

Zanna (or Zannachan), from Michigan

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MINANCY's Photo MINANCY Posts: 3,183
2/6/13 8:12 A

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I just finished my 1st Jane Austen novel. From the library, I had picked up The Complete Novels of Jane Austen Volume 1 and have read the first of three books 'Sense and Sensibility'

I know those of you on this thread love her. But I have to be honest and say that I don't. Today I will return the book to the library with the remaining two books unread.

Is it the genre? Perhaps to some degree. But after reading Jane Eyre, I was so moved by the book and taken with the style of Charlotte Bronte' that I read everything she and her sisters had written.

I enjoyed reading of the social and 'sensibilities' of the day. But only for so long. She had me with Willoughby jilting Marianne and Edward apparently losing interest in Elinor. But the ending was just so ..... uninteresting.

emoticon
Sorry

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1SALMON1's Photo 1SALMON1 SparkPoints: (20,924)
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2/2/13 4:14 P

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I agree that P & P is a great first read for anyone unfamiliar with Jane Austen - and I would put in a plug for Persuasion for that role too.



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CARRAND's Photo CARRAND Posts: 5,385
2/2/13 3:49 P

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One of the neat things about Jane Austen is the dialogue. Every character speaks in a distinct "voice", something that imitators never get right. It's the dialogue that makes them perfect for adapting into movies. Austen has very little description of characters in her books, so we are free to imagine them any way we like.

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MINANCY's Photo MINANCY Posts: 3,183
1/25/13 5:06 A

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Thanks Natalie! I am going to the library today and will pick it up!

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ADAGIO_CON_BRIO's Photo ADAGIO_CON_BRIO Posts: 12,176
1/24/13 10:19 P

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"Pride and Prejudice" is always a good one to start with. It you don't like it, then you won't like her other ones. She's got a distinctive style which is consistent in all 6 of her novels.

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MINANCY's Photo MINANCY Posts: 3,183
1/24/13 6:36 P

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Any recommendations on my first Jane Austen book to read?

Nancy, Michigan
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ADAGIO_CON_BRIO's Photo ADAGIO_CON_BRIO Posts: 12,176
1/15/13 9:20 P

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That's nifty! You know what? I have not read that novel but you are not the first person to recommend it. I'll have to bump it up on my long long list of books to-be-read. Thank you for the tip.

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1/13/13 7:43 P

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Ha! Your book is in my library! I will read it. How cool.
Question - have you read Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell? A first novel by Susanna Clarke (hope I spelled her name right...). She reminds me of Austen in her tone and style. (Though even if I'd never read Austen I'd love Jonathan Strange etc.)



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ADAGIO_CON_BRIO's Photo ADAGIO_CON_BRIO Posts: 12,176
1/13/13 4:25 P

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I love Jane Austen so much that I even wrote a book about her (a long long time ago) called "The Friendly Jane Austen".

She was very innovative as an author. People who dismiss her as a "romance novelist" don't understand that she was the first author who developed forms of "shifting narration" that quickly became standard. This is the way the novelist can show multiple points of view without resorting to letters or other highly artificial ways to distinguish various characters! I loved Jane Austen and writing the book on her left me with----much greater respect and love. I thought at first I would get tired of her, but that was never the case.

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1/13/13 3:47 P

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Jane Austen had a true gift, and she is a gift to us. She said she wrote about love and money - what else is there? For a woman of her time and social position those two considerations defined her prospects. But her books are full of humor, and vivid characters (and caricatures) that make her world alive to us. So few women have done what she did - a whole segment of English social history would be lost if she had not been who she was, and done what she did. I have read all her books at least a couple of times - Pride & Prejudice, Northanger Abbey, and Persuasion (SO GREAT!!) many more times.



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ADAGIO_CON_BRIO's Photo ADAGIO_CON_BRIO Posts: 12,176
1/7/13 11:25 P

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I am setting up some discussion boards for individual authors. Please feel free to start one of your own!

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