Friday, May 20, 2011

A Jane Austen Education

A Sentimental Education
Literary critic William Deresiewicz discusses his charming memoir,
"A Jane Austen Education", and Austen's timeless appeal.
Jane Austen taught you moral seriousness, how to be an adult and,
ultimately, how to love.
(Book review...."BookPage"  May 2011 Issue)
Question:What would you like your book to convey to its audience?
"First, that her books aren't just soap operas and aren't just fun....
though of course they're incredibly fun~they also have a lot of serious
and important and very wise things to say. Second, that they aren't
just about romance. And finally, that they aren't just for women. I would
love  it if the book helped introduce more men to her work. Maybe 
people could get it for their boyfriends, husbands, brothers." 
Question: What advice do you think Jane Austen would give to
a contemporary single woman in want of a relationship?
"Ha! Great question. The first thing I think she would say is,
don't settle. Then marry for the right reasons: for love, not for money
or appearances or expectations. She didn't believe  you could fall
in love with someone until you knew them, and then what you fell in
love with was their character more than anything else.
Don't forget to give a good hard look at who they are."
Mr. Deresiewicz responding to another question spoke of Austen
as being a moralist withouth being moralistic.  She didn't preach,
but she wanted to teach by example.  The examples are what happens
to her heroines.  The lessons Austen imparted are the ones they learn
themselves.  Their stories are about learning to live better, and we're
supposed to get the idea.
Sounds like a great summer read.....pass the word along....
Blessings.....Dee Dee