Saturday, March 31, 2007

Some springing, no scoffing, and some persuasive reading

Tiny Tulips
I've been working for three days on a post about my favourite Jane Austen novel, Persuasion. It has been agonizing. Long story short: Read it, it's fantastic, read it again, you'll love it more. But if you're used to chick lit, mystery novels, sci fi, or Dan Brown (gah!), have patience. Austen says a lot in seemingly simple, insignificant ways. Oh, and just because Anne Elliott is quiet, does not mean she's a pushover. It's just that she has manners.

Hyacinth single
Finally, pay attention to the last quarter of the book. Like most novels with a romance storyline to resolve, it has that period of uncertainty at the end. Now this part of the plot doesn't have to be contrived and annoying, and I think Jane Austen always managed to keep it fresh. Generally, though, the woman has the task of waiting for the man to make a move (eg, Pride and Prejudice, and every romantic comedy). In Persuasion, the tables are turned. Anne Elliott's delightful powers of perception means that she knows Wentworth's heart before he knows hers. It makes for one of the most powerful letters you'll ever read in literature. I won't quote from it, because I've done enough swooning lately.

Oh right, and Captain Wentworth? He's like Horatio Hornblower, except he marries the right person, and doesn't eventually cheat on his super-cool wife with a widowed French lady. Yeah, Horatio? You're on notice. Wentworth? Make us proud!

Have I made my case? No? Maybe another day (I will try again). The post I was writing and eventually abandoned was mainly just to share these pictures with you. Daffodils coming up in the garden, and hyacinths that Mom got from her prayer pal. There are more at my Flickr account. And behold! What is that (hint: look to the right, the sidebar)? Why, it's a flickr badge! You can click to see more pictures! No scoffing, that took me far too long to insert into my template tonight.

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