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WishIwasinIreland
25-10-2007, 01:41 PM
So after seeing the movie I decided to read the book. The 02 version, not the old 1945. Im not too far in right now but have any of you read it yet?

veryeasilyb0red
30-10-2007, 02:45 AM
I love that movie! I have it...but no, I didn't read the book...I'm so lazy I think I got as far as 7 chapters and that was it.

WishIwasinIreland
31-10-2007, 07:53 PM
Your name really fits your reply haha

DragonRat
02-11-2007, 05:27 AM
I'm taking a class on Austen. What did you want to know?

(In my opinion, if you are literate, and you don't like Pride & Prejudice, there is something wrong with you. And I'm being somewhat serious. Perhaps it's the dense, Victorian phrasing--in which case, you shouldn't really read anything else from the 19th century... or the 18th century, for that matter. But if have breezed through countless men's magazines or women's magazines, and you've trifled enough with the heavily reduced prose of journalism that's fit to page, then you should probably give Jane Austen a try... again... She's clever enough for the rest of us who enjoy a good laugh at other people.)

To be sure, P&P is her most accessible novel--both in terms of availability and textual friendliness to the (post-)modern reader. If you've seen the movie, or the BBC production, or any other of the sort, you probably would like the book. Of course, it's easy enough to imagine Keira Knightley as Lizzy Bennet... it makes the reading go faster, :P.

Hazzle
02-11-2007, 11:43 AM
I don't like Pride and Prejudice and like Dickens so I'm not sure it's fair to assume that if someone does not like it it is entirely due to the dense Victorian language. Of course when someone says they found it "boring" that's usually an indication they didn't understand but I wouldn't say I found it boring. It simply didn't "speak" to me. It's a very subjective thing.

Removing any subjective aspect from it, if I were to analyse it as a piece of literature it's superb. The satire is sharp and witty and the social commentary is actually fascinating. Her plots and character development are good and the prose is evocative.

My problem is I simply didn't find it evoked enough passion in me to read it again.

duckula
02-11-2007, 01:27 PM
In contrast to Hazzle, I can't stand Dickens but thought Pride and Prejudice was excellent. As he notes it is funny as hell, the social commentary is interesting and I think it is probably the best characterised book I have ever read.

hasselbrad
02-11-2007, 02:45 PM
Of course, it's easy enough to imagine Keira Knightley as Lizzy Bennet... it makes the reading go faster, :P.

It's hard to hold the book open with one hand though.
:D

Porcelain_Doll
02-11-2007, 02:50 PM
(In my opinion, if you are literate, and you don't like Pride & Prejudice, there is something wrong with you. And I'm being somewhat serious. Perhaps it's the dense, Victorian phrasing--in which case, you shouldn't really read anything else from the 19th century... or the 18th century, for that matter. But if have breezed through countless men's magazines or women's magazines, and you've trifled enough with the heavily reduced prose of journalism that's fit to page, then you should probably give Jane Austen a try... again... She's clever enough for the rest of us who enjoy a good laugh at other people.)


I beg to differ.
I adore 18th and 19th century literature, and not just English. "Dense Victorian phrasing" really isn't an issue, rather a must-have in my library.
But I tried twice to read P&P and found myself very easily distracted. I'll give it another try, but at the moment I'm busy reading the 5 books piled up on my bedside table. No, I'm not kidding and no, I'm not bragging. I'm rather ashamed I've become such a slow reader, I used to devour books in afternoons. :(

(For the record, I doubt age counts in this discussion. Just in case any of you felt like reminding me of my youth and hence lack of literary experience ;))

DragonRat
06-11-2007, 07:49 PM
The whole point there is that you are distracted from reading P&P in its entirety. This is not to say that people who are familiar with 17th, 18th, and 19th-century British literature would enjoy Austen with the same peculiarity as Dickens, Fielding, or Eliot. However, I claim--and so would many other critics of the 19th century, that Austen represents a distinct change in the way novelistic fiction is read and written. Just compare P&P to something like Tristram Shandy. You'll know there's a big difference in taste and opinion. (And it only has a partial connection to gender.)

I'm sure there are a slew of people who prefer the length of Thackeray and Richardson, and can wade through the endless proliferation of synonyms, ideas, concepts, abstracts, and standards (see, it's contagious). But Austen's fictional turn--read her personalized indictment of novel writers and readers in Northanger Abbey--creates a new mindset in the novel. No longer is it a novelty, but it generates interest by taking that popular sense of novelty and making it important, pertinent, germane.

If you don't like P&P, I still think there's something a tad off. I merely reserve the right to think that if you haven't enjoyed P&P, then you were either forced to read it for class, or you don't care much for the everyday melodrama of genteel life in Romantic Period England. But either way, one should still give it a shot (or a second, or a third), or as many times to figure out why you don't like it. :P (Again, this isn't to say that those who don't enjoy Austen aren't "cool"; but that P&P stands far and away as her more accessible work, and her most celebrated one at that.)

Austen is also usually coupled with the Bronte sisters in terms of overall influence in women's literature and British literature at the turn of the 19th century. I know people who prefer Heathcliff and Rochester to Darcy or Knightley (Mr. John Knightley, the "knight-in-not-so-shining armor" of Emma, not that Knightley...) Perhaps it is that the Brontes bring in a darker side of complexity to the male characters, whereas the deus ex machina tool that Austen utilizes through her male protagonists might end up seeming a bit overwrought or, indeed, too much a novelty.

But what is actually to be noted in Austen's writing is the particularity of detail she pays to manners and society. If you don't catch the satirical tone of her narrator, or the jabs the narrator puts on nearly everyone in the book, then you cannot find the novels enjoyable. As E.M. Forster does, we must all read these books "with our mouths open, and our minds closed." That is to say, for all the pedagogical value that Austen purportedly brings to the novelistic frame, her oeuvre ends up being enjoyable and pleasurable. (The Renaissance man Sir Philip Sidney remarked that the ends of poetry is "to profit, and to entertain." And we profit from the entertainment; at the same time, we entertain the possibility that reading may profit us in equal measure. Besides, what good is work without a little fun?)

Porcelain_Doll
06-11-2007, 10:37 PM
This is a somewhat unfair discussion, seeing as you're taking a class on the subject (and seem to know quite a lot about English literature) while I've read very little of the kind (what can I say, I'm more into Russians and French authors:p).

I never said I didn't like the book, I said it just didn't quite "suck me in" as with other books...maybe I'm not literate, learned nor English enough (I'm definitely not English, should I start saying "bollocks" and such? :p
No offence, I love your language...heck, I prefer yours to mine) but perhaps it's just not my type of novel. I'm not into the romance genre, that's for sure, but I do love that era and especially the kind of refined, delicate and "visual" writing (I don't know the technical term for it, I call it that way...that style that just makes you live the book instead of just reading it). It's why I enjoyed George Eliot so much or totally fell for Clavell (not the same era nor country nor anything, just another very descriptive writer).

But I promise I'll give it another try. :D

Leonie
07-11-2007, 07:46 AM
PeeDee, give Northanger Abbey a go. That'll tell you whether it's just Pride and Prejudice you can't quite get into, or whether Austen's writing just doesn't agree with you.

I found Northanger Abbey much more of an easy read than most of Austen's other novels. Not in the sense that it is simple, but because it does draw you in from the start, or it did with me, anyway. It's perhaps not as witty, but it's still a decent read.

Hazzle
07-11-2007, 02:16 PM
I'll bear that advice in mind too Elle. May even get P & P out again and give it another try.

Pygmalion
07-11-2007, 03:15 PM
Austen leaves a bad taste in my mouth after having to study "Mansfield Park" in year eleven English. Although I did find it funny that Jane Austen created this annoying heroine (Francis), and consequentially got so carried away with the other female major female character in the book that in the last few chapters it appears she went "shit! Back to the main story!" And gave poor Francis a happy ending afterall.
I'm with Haz and Pee Dee on this one, I always start P & P, then end up reading something else.

Leonie
07-11-2007, 05:11 PM
I've tried reading Mansfield Park, several times. I'm halfway through at present, and I just don't care for any of the characters, sadly.

I've never had that problem with any of her other novels - I didn't finish Persuasion due to time issues (read most it for a course, never quite got back to it), and I haven't attempted Emma yet, in some misguided fit of Have. To. Finish. Mansfield. Park. First. but I've read Pride and Prejudice, Northanger Abbey, Sense and Sensibility and even Lady Susan, and I loved every single one of them. Mansfield Park's Francis just annoys the hell out of me, and I can't quite feel for the rest of the characters. (Though I should, since they're stuck in that book with Francis forever. *shiver*)

DragonRat
08-11-2007, 01:11 AM
Well, in my opinion, Emma was not as interesting... :P

Pygmalion
08-11-2007, 04:53 AM
Francis just annoys the hell out of me, and I can't quite feel for the rest of the characters. (Though I should, since they're stuck in that book with Francis forever. *shiver*)

She's just a boring character really, she just disapproves of everything without any charm or wit. Bad bad bad.

DragonRat
08-11-2007, 11:49 PM
It does make sense, because--if we're talking about Fanny Price in Mansfield Park--she represents the ideal, courteous, sympathetic, submissive woman protagonist, at least in the 19th century. (Of course, the submissiveness or sympathy might be disputed in today's culture.) What separates her from the other characters, particularly the Crawfords, and appeals her and makes her partial to Edmund, is her surprising honesty about issues. Sure, she's boring, because her opinions are conservative, but at least she does not hide her feelings. And what's more boring (uninteresting...disinteresting?) than someone whose personality derives from forthright, albeit distasteful and presupposing (to some degree, in today's age) honesty, and not some persona in some game to play?

What makes the Crawfords appealing is that they are wiser in the ways of the world, and are able to take things with less literalness than more provincialized characters as Fanny or Edmund. Their quick talk precedes Wilde by at least 70 years, and their canny social wit make them the model modern character fit into a novel of the country and country manners. Their feelings are veiled, but they make up much in gestures and silences. Those are things that Fanny does not understand.