Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Thanks to Jane

I just finished reading Sense and Sensibility and thoroughly enjoyed it. It makes me want to use long, flowery words that I'm not quite sure of their meaning, and talk in a British accent, if only I could come up with something eloquent to say.

Here are a few gems I dog-eared as I read. Such a perceptive commentary on society! and how much does Marianne remind me of someone...myself!
  • On avoiding awkward pauses in social gatherings: "Lady Middleton had taken the wise precaution of bringing with her their eldest child, a fine little boy about six years old; by which means there was one subject always to be recurred to by the ladies in case of extremity, for they had to enquire his name and age, admire his beauty, and ask him questions which his mother answered for him[...]. On every formal visit a child ought to be of the party, by way of provision for discourse. In the present case it took up ten minutes to determine whether the boy were most like his father or mother, and in what particular he resembled either, for of course every body differed, and every body was astonished at the opinion of the others." (Vol 1, chapter 6)
  • The maturity of seventeen. "Marianne began now to perceive that the desperation which had seized her at sixteen and a half, of ever seeing a man who could satisfy her ideas of perfection, had been rash and unjustifiable." (Vol 1, chapter 10)
  • Ever heard people say that the baby looks just like someone on their side of the family? Mr Palmer got it (who in the 1995 movie is played by Hugh Laurie, of course...): "Mr Palmer maintained the common, but unfatherly opinion among his sex, of all infants being alike; and though she could plainly perceive, at different times, the most striking resemblance between this baby and every one of his relations on both sides, there was no convincing his father of it; no persuading him to believe that it was not exactly like every other baby of the same age; nor could he be brought to acknowledge the simple proposition of its being the finest child in the world." (Volume 2, chapter 14)
  • Ever try to argue with someone who just doesn't get it? "Elinor agreed to it all, for she did not think he deserved the compliment of rational opposition." (Volume 2, chapter 14)

Next is Northanger Abbey while I wait for Pride and Prejudice to come in the mail.

What is your favorite Jane Austen?

1 comment:

Rebecca said...

I've only read P&P but S&S is on my list for this fall! I'm so glad you enjoyed it.

Actually, that's not true, I read Northanger Abbey. It's completely different tone because it's making fun of gothic novels. I had never read a gothic novel when I'd read it, so I didn't get the joke and subsequently didn't like the book. I hope you still do like it! Maybe I was just dense. I'm hoping to reread Northanger Abbey someday. A lot of people do like it.