About Austen

Another round of reading of Austen books. After finishing P&P, Mansfield Park, Persuasion, and Emma, I proceed to S&S. It has become a routine for me every once in a while. I could have used the time to read books about modern women or something more informative. I could and I should. I acknowledge it with more than the usual conviction, but I come back to Austen again and again. Somehow, reading Austen has become a habit that I can’t get rid of. There are a lot of worthy books. I want to read all the books of Margaret Atwood, Saki, George Orwell, Mencken, Baldwin, T.S. Eliot, Evelyn Waugh, but only completing a portion of it. I seriously don’t know why Austen is so attractive to me. I really don’t. I only know I come back to her despite all my reasonable objections.

It’s definitely not the plot that has attracted me. All the clever and beautiful women in her book have nothing better to do than thinking and planning about getting married–it’s a depressing picture. The plots fit to be called romance, but the books are actually not about romance at all since the description of the emotion of love is very limited, almost to the degree of non-existent. However the flow of conversation, the description of different characters are wonderful, sarcastic but not so sarcastic as Mencken, rambling but only to the degree that one can endure. Even the description of the sad part is interesting and hopeful–I don’t feel the same hopeless sadness as I was reading certain parts of David Copperfield.

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