Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Why Jane Austen is shit

Her sentences last a paragraph each and her story lines are incredibly predictable. Yet we can't stop dribbling on about her brilliance and seem to be compulsively awarding her accolades.
Bit of meta-reporting here: 'Professor Kathryn Sutherland of Oxford University' studied shedloads of original handwritten pages of Jane Austen and decided that her critically acclaimed 'perfect style' was the work of her editor. Who, unfortunately for feminists, was a male.
This of course brings me to a couple of conclusions.
a) If she is 'widely regarded as a supreme stylist' and 'a writer of perfectly polished sentences,' as the BBC article I'm reading states, then everyone in the world is wrong except me. I become extremely confused when I'm halfway through Northanger Abbey and still on the first sentence. How can a good writer be one that creates the necessity for one to read the same sentence 4 times to make sense of it? In fact, I am going to continue this post in true Jane Austen style.
b) Rather due to the fact, which may indeed actually excite the feminists, that Jane Austen's style is due to her male editor, then, we can be assured that her own particular style may not have been so inclined to puzzle: perhaps she is a good writer after all, so I should not criticise her good name; the article reports that in fact her original handwritten scripts had a more finely crafted dialogue, in which case I feel she has been hugely misrepresented for all these years, and I only wish I had read the handwritten version of Pride and Prejudice, rather than killing my brain trying to tackle the edited cryptic one.
c) Despite this, it pains me to say, nothing can change the unfortunate simplistic and predictable story lines that Miss Austen employs.

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