Wednesday, December 20, 2006

My Recent Reads--Jane Austen

As you know from my last post, school is done for the semester. As a habitual reader, I find it strange to not constantly have some book in my purse, so I borrowed Northanger Abbey (Jane Austen) from a friend and bought Persuasion. Yes, I'm going on a Jane Austen reading spree. I decided to go on the Austen-fest after reading both Sense and Sensibility and Emma one right after the other, and loving both immoderately.

Austen is stereotyped as a chick-lit writer, or as a writer who only talks about family and marriage and the troubles her characters get into because of both. However, I'm a firm believer that Austen is much smarter than that. Her books may appear to be books about young ladies getting married off to live in happiness and fortune, but they also contain so much more.

I'm in the middle of Northanger Abbey right now, and it's a witty, sarcastic, fantastic novel. Catherine Morland stars as the heroine of this not-so-Gothic Gothic novel. Austen plays on the conventions of the Gothic novel, dismantling them and exposing them as silly, irrational, though interesting . And when she launches into a several page defense of reading novels (those sensational things that most ladies of good breeding would never admit to reading), the reader and scholar in me admits that there is so much thematically to her writing.

I'll post again when I'm finished.

1 comment:

Donna said...

OMG, I can't tell you how much I love Northanger Abbey. I think it was the third Austen novel I read. I just treasure the middle part with the play so, so much -- and they totally muffed it in the movie, which made me furious.