Monday, September 20, 2010

See Jane Rock

I love Jane Austin. She is witty and clever and has an incredible way with words. And while my husband and Iwere under the weather this week-end we ate lots of soup, drank copious amounts of tea and soothed our bleary brains with Jane.

Sense and Sensibility- Emma is the epitome of English sublimity.
Mansfield Park- a new flick in our repertoire- we like it!
Persuasion- while I didn't originally like the main character in this one, she's grown on me
Pride & Prejudice with Colin Firth goes without saying as one of the best of the best but please don't get me started on the re-make with Kiera Knightly! ugh.
Still on the look-out for Emma and Northanger Abby.

I love her books. In fact, once we've finished The Last Battle, I think we're going to read one of Jane's tomes out-loud. And this year I've discovered Beth Patillo who has a delightful couple of fictionalized of Jane.
We also enjoyed Becoming Jane- very fun. I love Jane, I really do and it's been a decades long engagement so it's no fly-by-night fancy.

But, all that being said, I have to confess that I just don't buy some of Jane's dialog. C'mon. What man have you ever met says to a female of any persuasion,

"My dearest, forgive me, I was wrong."

Not that I doubt an apology coming from a man, but you just can't convince me that it would be preceded by, "My dearest."

Or, "I've tried so hard to forget you. But I could not wrest you from my heart."


I turned to my husband, a man who has spent hundreds, if not thousands of hours counseling couples, mentoring men, offering wisdom and advice to those trying to tape their marriages back together and asked, "have you EVER run in to a man who has "Tried so hard to forget anybody?"

And he says, "No."

I love Jane, I really do, but I just don't think she gets men. My husband thinks perhaps the sentiments and dialog are accurate to the time. And certainly her characters are lovable and true and the best idealistic portrayal of men one could find, but are they accurate portrayals of the courser sex?

what do you think?


Jennifer said...

I do think the dialog and the things the men said are just part of the time. I was just listening to Persuasion for the umpteenth time and am amused by the men handing a woman up into the carriage, or insisting on offering an arm while walking. My modern sensibilities make me automatically bristle at these scenes, but I have to remember that women were considered weaker, it was the man's job to take care of them.

You've got my wheels turning (sluggishly -- it's early Monday morning). I may have to write a blog in response!

Tina said...

I think those lines put the fiction into historical fiction and keep those hopeless romantics, such as myself, coming back for more. Dh can always tell when I'm feeling blue, I start watching Jane Austen based movies and anything that resembles such; although I readily admit, Jane does Rock harder than most :)

Stephanie said...

I too have wondered about her dialog. I have several more of her books on my Kindle to be read so I'm going to pay more attention to it from now on but I think for now I agree with your hubby. I think men did talk like that back then or at least the upper crust did because they were brought up to be gentlemen.

Ana Braga-Henebry said...

I believe Jane is timeless because she painted an accurate portrayal of her time. Moral values were much more important and I bet there men fighting their passions to do the right thing. Austen seems to reward these good men with the good women at the wend, thank God. I imagine the author chucking as she wrote about people around her... if only writers today could write timeless tales while portraying their own world and the transcendent stories in them.