Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Persuasion - Jane Austen
Author: Jane Austen
Genre: Fiction (Classic/Literary)
Did I finish?: I did!
One-sentence summary: Middle child given bad life advice, misses out on man of her dreams, but gets second chance!
Why did I get this book?: I have the 'Jane Austen is my Homegirl' challenge; and I was in the mood.
Source: Local library!
Do you like the cover?: Yes -- I like the sweet simplicity of it, although I think the row boat is a bit odd. Schooner perhaps?
Did this book make me wish my commute were longer?: YES. Or that I should have no commute and could sit around a read all day.
Did this book require a dictionary?: YES: éclaircissement (the clearing up of anything which is obscure or not easily understood; an explanation), and weirdly enough, retrench, only because I thought I knew what it meant, but decided to double check.
Did I eventually have to quit dog earring any page with a quote I liked because I was going to end up simply retyping the novel?: YES
Review: How do you review Jane Austen if you're not Harold Bloom or Margaret Drabble? I can't even, so I'll discuss this particular edition: Signet Classic (2008), with an introduction by Margaret Drabble (from 1964) and an afterward by Diane Johnson (of Le Mariage/Le Divorce fame).
I feel like I also should come clean and say straight out that Pride & Prejudice is not my favorite Austen (seriously, I don't get the Darcy love). My favorite Austen is Northanger Abbey. I cut my teeth on Gothics like Mysteries of Udolpho and have always felt rather affectionately toward Catherine Morland. After that, Persuasion tops my list. So despite any flaws this book might have in terms of plot or characters, I really love this book.
Diane Johnson's Afterword was an enjoyable addition. As an aspiring novelist, I read for enjoyment -- but also, to learn. Johnson reviews Austen's techniques and highlights her skillful writing. I rather wish it was offered at the beginning -- Johnson's notes inspire a close reading.