Friday, June 11, 2010

Discovering Jane - Guest Blog Post

As a literature major at university, I was one of those academic, erudite types who enjoyed discussing the didactic nature of mythology and other such revelry. Okay, I SO wasn’t that type. I was more likely to be caught discussing how to pull off an epic prank than an epic poem; how I could skive off chapel in favor of sunbathing down the beach (or on the off-limits roof in a pinch) than charting the grammar of a sentence. But I did study literature, excessively, for many a-year and I therefore read. A great deal. Yet in all that study over all those years, I never once was asked to read anything by Jane Austen.

My first encounter with Jane (yes, we’re on a first name basis now), therefore, was in my late 20’s. I was at that time in my youth of embracing the romantic side of life, and thought Jane might enhance that endeavor. What I found was much more than a bit of romance – witty, clever, heartbreaking as well as heartwarming, Jane gave me a genuine slice of life in another era. I found her characters to be so real and having depth that many classic characters, beloved or no, lack. I was enamored. I was spellbound, really.

I would find antique copies of her tomes because it would add to the mystique thinking of all the people from past generations that had enjoyed those words. Then in my flowing dress I would head out to a flowering garden and laze about or find a cozy corner with a candle or two and classical music playing softly in the background, and indulge. Lizzie and Jane, Elinor and Marianne, Emma, Anne, and the others would be my companions. Many of them became as dear to me as my flesh-and-blood friends (whom, between the wonderful films Elizabeth spoke of and my enthusiasm, became Jane fans as well).

I’m a bit more practical now. No more flowing dresses, and I’ll take whatever copy I might find of a book and read it without ceremony whenever I have a moment. However, I’ve never gotten over my love of Jane’s creations. Pride and Prejudice is one of my all time favorite books, and one of the few titles I have, and will continue to, read multiple times. In truth, Jane’s tales never go out of fashion. Whatever stage of life one is in, one can rely upon Jane to provide us characters to relate to and stories to treasure.

What I find utterly astounding in this is that in all those 10 years of studying literature, not once, not ever, did those “wise” scholars whose tutelage I was under think our dear Jane important enough to bring to the classroom. As a result I deeply regret not pulling some of my legendary pranks on those unenlightened dopes that instructed me. Hmm... wonder if I still could – in honor of Jane, of course!

Viva Jane Austen!

"whichwaydidshego writes my favorite blog of all time, besides my own of course, and has become the coolest friend ever." And that's what she said! Drumroll. But seriously folks, even if she wrote that, I believe it and more. We bonded over our mutual love of life and literature, stumbling across each others paths on goodreads. Since then she is the person who brightens my day when I see her name in my mailbox and I was delighted when she agreed to participate in the "Jane in June" event on my blog (as you can she, she also has a soft spot for Jane, as well as the BBC, especially David Tennant, which is a linchpin of any good friendship). I encourage you all to go check out her blog as well! Viva whichwaydidshego!


Yay! Definitely going to have to repost some of this!

Feel free! It's all for you and Jane!

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