Saturday, July 16, 2011

I Couldn't Like Emerson More

I've never had much respect for books I can read in one day. I don't know why that is. Wait, I do know why that it is. My high-frequency books are Dante's Divine Comedy, Shakespeare's Hamlet, and Botho Strauss' Die Fremdenfuehrerin. They're all complicated works that need careful attention and much consideration. If you can figure something out too quickly, then maybe you shouldn't have bothered with it all in the first place.


Having stated this, check out this jewel of a thought from Emerson regarding Jane Austen's work. Man, I love this guy! Boom, this is how you write about Jane Austen.

"I am at a loss to understand why people hold Miss Austen’s novels at so high a rate, which seem to me vulgar in tone, sterile in invention, imprisoned in the wretched conventions of English society, without genius, wit, or knowledge of the world. Never was life so pinched & narrow. The one problem in the mind of the writer in both the stories I have read, “Persuasion”, and “Pride & Prejudice”, is marriageableness; all that interests any character introduced is still this one, has he or she money to marry with, & conditions conforming? ‘Tis “the nympholepsy of a fond despair”, say rather, of an English boarding-house. Suicide is more respectable."

1 comment:

Paul said...

Came across an Emerson quote, from his essay "Nature":
The greatest delight which the fields and woods minister is the suggestion of an occult relation between man and the vegetable. I am not alone and unacknowledged. They nod to me, and I nod to them."