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Fridge Brilliance

  • I had an unimpressed reaction to Jane Austen initially. The way that her characters constantly obsessed over romance and marriage seemed irritating and shallow... until I realized that for women in that time and place, marrying well really was a Matter of Life and Death, or at least the difference between comfort and abject poverty. --JadedLady
  • As I read more of Jane Austen, it at first slightly annoyed me that, outside of Pride and Prejudice, she always skips over the Official Couple getting together — confessing their love, the proposal, arranging the engagement... the couple just goes and takes a walk together as she casually mentions to the reader that this is the part where they get together without showing how it happens. Clearly, at least in my humble opinion, she is great at writing plot and romance, so why skip over this scene all the time? Northanger Abbey finally made it clear to me that this is part of her consistent Genre Savvy narrative persona. She knows she's writing a romance, the reader will know they're reading a romance, so why focus on the foregone conclusion that's been written a million times before? She focuses more on the social commentary and satire and comedic irony of the story because they're what differentiate the story; to Austen, the least important part of a romance novel is the romance!
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