Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Bookish things

Though Mr. Darcy is apparently the ideal romantic hero for many modern women, it would seem that Austen wasn't one to hold out much hope in real-life soulmates:

"There are such beings in the World, perhaps, one in a Thousand, as the Creature You & I should think perfection, where Grace & Spirit are united to Worth, where the Manners are equal to the Heart & Understanding, but such a person may not come in your way, or if he does, he may not be the eldest son of a Man of Fortune, the Brother of your particular friend, & belonging to your own County."

Jane Austen in a letter to her niece, Fanny Knight
(November 18, 1814)

I think I've finished my Jane Austen kick, though there are still a few articles and quotes that I'll probably be posting when I get around to it. I've read Sense & Sensibility, Persuasion, and Emma over the last few weeks. Persuasion was definitely my favorite - Anne Elliot is an endearing, sympathetic heroine and the themes of sadness, regret, and lost youth make the final happy resolution of the story a very satisfying one.

This just leaves Mansfield Park (I've already been through Pride & Prejudice and Northanger Abbey) - which I think I'll save for another time. I bought a copy of MP from Aqua Books the other day but I haven't been able to move past the introductory essay. Mansfield Park is so far my favorite Austen film-adaptation, but supposedly Fanny Price is Austen's most hated heroine.

So instead I've moved on to Heart of Darkness and a Y.A. series by Tamora Pierce that I've been wanting to check out for a long time, ever since I read that it didn't shy away from plotlines related to gender and sex. That's pretty rare for a medieval fantasy series - especially a Young Adult one. (Can you imagine a young character having sex in a Susan Cooper or a Narnia book?)

I'm at a hilarious bit right now where the heroine Alanna has just been given a magical gold pendant that will keep her from getting pregnant indefinitely. (Well, its hilarious to me anyway - in the book I don't think its necessarily meant to be funny.)

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