Eternal Jane Austen News

“I believe that each of us has a natural defect that cannot be eliminated by the best education,” Jane Austen wrote in pride and Prejudice. Before adding: “Your tendency to despise your neighbors. »

Jane Austen is an exceptional writer. In six well-filled novels, she portrayed her environment with strength, humor and causticity. She is a writer of thousands of shades of character. Melancholy is supposed. About the timeless state of man. “The further I go, the less I am satisfied with the world. Every day he shows me more and more the instability of the characters and the little confidence that can be added to the manifestation of reason and merit, “she wrote in pride and Prejudice – his big book. From Austen, we are in a universe of works that transports us to a place, an environment somewhat similar to Marcel Proust, almost a century later. These are the books that bring us to the state of mind more than history. These are books that you read with a slight smile. “We are never consistent with ourselves,” she wrote again. We can only agree.

Its surroundings – England at the turn of the 18th century.and and the 19thand century. This is the rural world and the provinces, it is also the world of the petty bourgeoisie and the apogee of the English navy – the famous Royal Navy. He was born in 1775, when the British Empire was trying to preserve its American colonies, and Europe was facing the depletion of all political systems. She will die at the age of just over 40, in 1817, when her country, having won the victory at Waterloo, will try to recover from the distorted passage of Napoleon Bonaparte in the history of Europe and the world.

hawk eyes

English writer Martin Emis is very fond of Jane Austen. He is not the only one. In his novel Other people, her heroine Marie receives a gift box with all the Austin novels. “Nothing she has read so far has moved her so much,” he wrote. Then reflections on the importance of literature. “At one point, she told herself that the books were not about other places, but about other times, past and future. But the character of “Friends” thinks about it again, and then realizes that Shakespeare’s works, for example, may seem fresher than books written much later. We can say that together with Austen Marie discovers the timeless side of literature. Are the books about other times? “No. The books were about other places, “writes Martin Emis. In an interview with New York TimesWhen asked who the late writer would like to dine with, Emis quoted Jane Austen and “her hawk eyes.” When you know Austin’s ability to see beyond the protective layers that everyone tends to wear over time, you understand the analogy.

Not surprisingly, Jane Austen’s novels are picked up in the movies. So many pride and Prejudice, mind and feelings whatEmma adapted several times. This is because his work has not frozen in time. We would take only this question of pride and vanity, which we find in almost all his novels, and we would agree that in literature there is no advantage of novelty over the past. If literature is what allows us to position ourselves in relation to our neighbors, Austin deserves the place it occupies today. “Pride has more to do with the thought we have of ourselves, vanity – with what we want others to have about us,” she wrote. pride and Prejudice, his novel of 1813. This advantage of the notion of pride – which would be only pride in who we are, in who we were, in what we want to be – over vanity, so well exposed in Austin, in itself there is wealth. in Belief, her last novel, which will be published only after her death, she describes one of the main characters: “Vanity was the beginning and end of the character of Sir Walter Elliot. »

As we read Austin, we see that this tendency, which we must look upon with contempt, is futile and deadly. “We must be as lenient with the past as we are with ourselves,” she seems to be whispering in our ears, more than 200 years after her death. It was Flaubert who said: “The fault lies in the desire to draw a conclusion. Perhaps only by coming to terms with our past will we be able to see our world differently, and the keys to improving it will become clearer. “I deprive you of too faithful a memory,” Austin writes again pride and Prejudice. “Because this storm is not a phenomenon from somewhere, without any connection to you,” can we read in Kafka on the shore, Japanese writer Haruki Murakami. “She is you, and nothing more. »

Everything is always more complicated than it seems in Austin, less Manichaean, we would say. This is that changing the world, relying on hope in the sense that Jean d’Ormesson believed, nothing can surpass the knowledge we have about ourselves and others to use each and every one as a springboard to a better world, rather than immersing ourselves as a reminder of our weaknesses. Or, to put it another way: to see the light in the eyes of another, you may first need to carry a torch. Otherwise, to paraphrase Austin, “hope may well have the fate of many hopes.”

Women’s struggle

“We have an idyllic secular image of Jane Austen,” but that’s not the case, says historian and philosopher Mona Ozuf during a visit. Great bookstore Francois Busnell. In Austin’s novels, women “know that they are very unlucky, very few playing cards,” she says. “Austin describes women with an extraordinary instinct for survival, true pragmatism in the face of a cruel and delusional world. This is because this struggle of women against all injustice is based on a seemingly smooth writing. “English novelists, in particular, are united by the fact that they describe the male world with extraordinary fury,” Ozuf says of George Eliot and Jane Austen.

“All the stories against you, all the novels, prose and poetry,” explains one Anne, the central character. Belief. “Men, telling their story, had all the advantages over us,” – writes Austin. They had an education so much higher than ours; these are the ones who have a pen in their hand. I do not recognize in books the ability to prove something.

– But then how to prove something?

“We will never prove anything,” Anne replies.

We are close to Virginia Woolf, except that the century separates two women. The reasons you shouldn’t fight are not worth surviving, I read somewhere.

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