Jane Austen with your Spawn

My child is finally old enough to understand the perfection which is Jane Austen. This is all very interesting because she’s echoing a lot of the same things I was thinking when I was young. #1 — that Pride and Prejudice is a masterpiece. And #2 — that Marianne getting BEYOND knocked down a peg, and marrying Colonel Brandon at the end of Sense and Sensibility is fairly depressing.

I love the 1995 Ang Lee Sense & Sensibility movie, despite the bittersweet turn of events for Marianne. My daughter was like (insert gag emoji here). We are now currently reading Persuasion but I’m pretty sure she’s going to stay staunchly a fan of P&P, and the 1995 BBC version bears no comparison in her mind to the 2005.

While re-watching S&S last night, I was reminded of my favorite Shakespearean sonnet (featured in the book) and figured I’d throw it out here to refresh those who also know it and maybe inspire those who don’t!

Sonnet 116

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove.
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wand’ring bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me prov’d,
I never writ, nor no man ever lov’d.

–William Shakespeare


You go, Will. (Dap.)
This varies radically from feelings contemporary — as most things contemporary seem rather transient in general. But even after 20+ years, what it does seem is still profoundly true, to me anyway.
Here’s to Jane Austen, good books, and all things that feel good, honest, and true.

And with that, time for (me to finish!) a Coffee,
M

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Mea Maxima Culpa

“You give love, a bad name…”

Oh good Lord, yes, I know.
I haven’t posted since March! I have intended to many times, but as they say, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Not that I’M doing anything nefarious. However I do have to note that things with the previously referred to “Captain Wentworth” did sadly go straight to hell over the summer.

Very NON Jane Austen hero-like behavior was noted — let’s just say if sincere and constant affection is a hallmark of Austen’s Wentworth — I mislabeled this fellow quite miserably! Mea culpa. I thought I’d done my due diligence in the first half of our (almost) year together, but it turns out you really have no idea what anyone is thinking in their heart of hearts — which is frankly, very scary, and yet also intrinsic to that intangible magic that keeps two people together. As well as, oh, you know, commitment, communication, and honesty — but let’s say it’s mostly ethereal shit! It’s a nice vague premise. False Captain Wentworth likes those!

Subsequently, what can you do when that delicate cord running between your two hearts has snapped irreparably? Nothing, really. But you can walk away, head held high, and perhaps with a pen ready in hand, to defame them in verse, ala Taylor Swift. That works for me! Also I recommend muting, or better yet, blocking them on your social media. It is well documented that staying “friends” with an ex is unhealthy, unless it was a completely mutual scenario or you have children between you and MUST see each other. Neither of these things applies here soooooo, ADIOS amigo!

In any case, no matter how things turned out — the relationship was not a total waste of time, and I have the Manhattan and European vacation photos to prove it. :-p So you know — lemons = lemonade! I’m not accustomed to pining for anyone. I am on a dating hiatus however — a cleansing sabbatical, if you well. However, I will be accepting applications for potential new beaus around Halloween, so you know, let me know if you know of any REAL Captain Wentworths! I haven’t given up hope. 😉

Time to drown my (transient) sorrows in coffee,
Maddy

Book Bytes: The Value of Persuasion

"Cassandra, honestly, as a sister, if you're going to draw me disproportionately, could you at least give me some longer lashes or something?"

“Cassandra, honestly, as a sister, if you’re going to draw me disproportionately, could you at least give me some longer lashes or something?”

Have you ever watched a movie or read a book that mentions a famous book you have never read? Did it ever persuade you to read the book?  I read the Gothic classic The Mysteries of Udolpho because it was mentioned in Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen.  Similarly I read the sci-fi classic A Wizard of Earthsea because it was mentioned in The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler.

Now did anyone watch The Lake House? There are two awesome things in that movie. One: (I’m sorry in advance…) But somehow, Keanu Reeves rocks, and I mean — rocks, a blazer and turtleneck.  It’s almost magical (Ladies?  Am I right??). I generally loathe turtlenecks, but darn it! Don’t get me started.  Fwew. OK!

And Two: Sandra Bullock’s favorite book in the movie is Persuasion by Jane Austen – which is also my favorite Jane Austen book. In fact, I heard the whole movie is a loose interpretation of the book, which seems to be very loose indeed to me.  I suppose they are both about a happy ending coming after a long wait, but I don’t see the whole crux of the major dilemma in the movie being a life altering decision that the heroine was persuaded to make in her youth, as it is in the book. Thoughts, anyone?

Furthermore, despite a turtlenecked Keanu in the movie saying the premise of Persuasion sounded “terrible” (I think, could not find quote online), the book is actually wonderful. Besides the biting social satire and clever commentary, it contains possibly the quintessential love letter of classic literature, coming after a very long and very emotionally painful separation of lovers. It reads thusly:

 “I can listen no longer in silence. I must speak to you by such means as are within my reach. You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it, eight years and a half ago. Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you. Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant. You alone have brought me to Bath. For you alone, I think and plan. Have you not seen this? Can you fail to have understood my wishes? I had not waited even these ten days, could I have read your feelings, as I think you must have penetrated mine. I can hardly write. I am every instant hearing something which overpowers me. You sink your voice, but I can distinguish the tones of that voice when they would be lost on others. Too good, too excellent creature! You do us justice, indeed. You do believe that there is true attachment and constancy among men. Believe it to be most fervent, most undeviating, in F. W.

I must go, uncertain of my fate; but I shall return hither, or follow your party, as soon as possible. A word, a look, will be enough to decide whether I enter your father’s house this evening or never.”
― Jane AustenPersuasion

Persuasion,  by Jane Austen

Persuasion,
by Jane Austen

Who could resist that? Can you imagine getting a note like that from someone whom you were in unrequited love with for years? Wouldn’t you just turn to goo? Like, pleasant, happy goo (not like ectoplasm or anything).

So if you are in need of some biting social satire, awesome dialogue, and just some general “aaaaaaaaaaw!” in your life, I highly recommend Persuasion. It’s free on Kindle and at your local library. Enjoy!

And now… Time for a Coffee…

Maddy