Dear Readers,

I now consider this blog to be my Juvenelia. Have fun perusing the archives, and find me at my new haunt, here.

Monday, February 04, 2008

I Regret Miss Austen

So, yeah, I didn't live-blog Ms. Austen Regrets. Partly 'cause it was my birthday and after a mimosa and some very rich food I was in no state to be witty, and partly cause we turned on Citizen Kane, which we netflixed, part of the way through the evening, and partly because my boyfriend bought me the DVDs of the 1995 Sense and Sensibility and Persuasion and the new Northanger Abey and I was so grateful and pleased that I felt subjecting him to a fourth sunday night of austen-blogging shenanigans might be unfair. Of course, he wouldn't have minded had I really wanted to watch it, as he's an Austenite himself.

So the reality of it all is, I just amn't that interested because I am just a bigger fan of Austen's work than her life. It's the opposite of Virginia Woolf, whose life story is fascinating but whose novels are not the kind I care to read more than once or twice. The fact that Austen's life is boring, I think, is more of a testament to her legacy: the woman was a straight genius.

As for the parts of Ms. A Regrets that I did see, I thought they were a sight better than this summer's travesty. I thought that the wit and brilliance that came out of this Ms. Austen were far more accurate than the faux-cleverness of Anne Hathaway's Jane. Maybe because they used more than one or two real Austen snippets. I just didn't happen to find it to be particularly compelling watching. It was too meandering for me. But I am happy that the austenites seem to have at least somewhat embraced it and I shall tune in another day.


  1. Ever read the Penguin Lives biography by Carol Shields? I quite like it. She makes a lot of the points that you did: the fact that Austen had such an uneventful life makes her genius all the more appreciable.

  2. I completely agree - I thought it was well cast and acted, but kind of directionless, and not a very full portrait. Also, like you, I don't find Austen's life that compelling compared to her novels.