Our Jane Austen Pet Peeves: Austenesque Extravaganza (Part 2)
Welcome to the halfway point on this week’s Traveling Tuesday, a segment of this year’s Austenesque Extravaganza! You’ve stumbled onto Part 2 of a three-part roundtable discussion that begins at Lori Smith’s blog and ends at KaraLynne Mackory’s. So, if you feel a little lost, be sure to go back and read Lori Smith’s blog first. I’ll be here when you get back…
The continuation of
A Discussion of Some Oh-So-Minor Pet Peeves with Jane Austen’s Novels…
Lori Smith: Another pet peeve — occasionally, at critical points in the stories, Austen doesn’t show us the whole scene. As when Knightley proposes. Austen doesn’t give us Emma’s response, just says, “She said everything that a lady would say…” or something like that. This happens a couple other times. Like Austen didn’t want to write that particular bit of dialog, perhaps?
KaraLynne Mackrory: Oh and when Darcy proposes “He reacted as a man violently in love can be expected to.”
KaraLynne Mackrory: Urgg that does bother me.
Lori Smith: Exactly, KaraLynne!
Alyssa Goodnight: I have to admit, I kind of like that. I guess I’m in the minority.
Lori Smith: Maybe it leaves a little up to the imagination?
Alyssa Goodnight: I feel like the scene is wide open with possibility–that it’s so romantic and heartfelt that it can’t even be captured.
Lori Smith: I like that perspective, Alyssa.
KaraLynne Mackrory: Yes, and that is how the reader is left feeling, Alyssa, which is probably why her books are so loved – we get to create a bit of the scene in our heads and imagine that part for ourselves.
KaraLynne Mackrory: I am left asking…”so how violently did Mr. Darcy act?….rarrr!”
Alyssa Goodnight: Perhaps the scene you need to write…
Lori Smith: Sort of like when she says of both Darcy and Knightley, something like “If I felt things less I might be able to talk about them more.”
KaraLynne Mackrory: Yes.
Alyssa Goodnight: YES!!
Alyssa Goodnight: And I think Colin Firth embodied those scenes (in P&P) beautifully because he filled all those silences with angsty, brooding stares. And we all sighed, imagining what he must be thinking. What he wanted to say, but couldn’t.
Lori Smith: Oh, love his brooding stares. Like when she’s helping Georgiana, turning pages for her while she plays the piano? My fave scene.
KaraLynne Mackrory: But I have to admit, sometimes it is disappointing because she does give clues as to the men’s “violence of love” – Darcy makes the wicked comment about admiring her figure from where he sits and Knightley comments that “indeed” they are not brother and sister.
KaraLynne Mackrory: So when they say things so leading and then the big moment happens and we are all ……. oh, I guess I have to imagine that part.
Alyssa Goodnight: But they are true gentleman, KaraLynne!
Lori Smith: Yes, it’s a little funny. Like the whole book leads up to that point, but the scene is still in some way shrouded in secrecy.
KaraLynne Mackrory: Well I wouldn’t want Jane to describe any physical passion – that wasn’t her thing – but they were good with words and even a gentleman can say charming things that are indicative of their thoughts and feelings.
KaraLynne Mackrory: Lori – maybe JA was giving them some privacy.
Lori Smith: She does some of the same thing with Anne and Wentworth. They talk over everything on the gravel walk, but she doesn’t tell us much of that.
KaraLynne Mackrory: Or blushing herself as a maiden writing the scenes.
Alyssa Goodnight: Maybe she didn’t trust herself to write those sorts of scenes… I don’t really know her personal history and what experience she had with men.
KaraLynne Mackrory: Ok, so it sounds like I expected them to make out but I’m not saying that. You guys get what I mean, right?
Alyssa Goodnight: Definitely!
KaraLynne Mackrory: I mean something more along the lines of “I ardently admire and love you -” without the “even though your family is crappy and you are poor and way beneath me.
Lori Smith: Totally get what you mean, KaraLynne!
Lori Smith: She received at least one proposal, likely two. The first she accepted, then changed her mind and withdrew the next morning. (She and her sister had to leave the house in disgrace.) The second proposal she didn’t accept. The perhaps love of her life (a man she met while vacationing by the sea) died suddenly without being able to propose.
KaraLynne Mackrory: Ohh poor Jane.
Lori Smith: The first proposal, he was rich, but she didn’t love him, so she just couldn’t do it. Even though he was a good family friend.
Lori Smith: Most women back then would have married him anyway.
Lori Smith: She just thought marrying without love was evil.
KaraLynne Mackrory: Maybe his brooding stares weren’t that good.
Lori Smith: 😉
KaraLynne Mackrory: I think her sticking to her convictions makes her truly magnificent especially considering the time (cough, cough Charlotte being a good example of what was common)
Lori Smith: YES — I’ve always felt that!
Lori Smith: And agree, KaraLynne.
Alyssa Goodnight: I agree, KaraLynne (and Lori), but I feel so sorry that she never married.
Lori Smith: Me too. But she was very happy.
Be sure to hop over to KaraLynne Mackory’s blog to read the end of the discussion, and please feel free to play along! What do you wish Jane had done differently?
Before you go…I have a giveaway! With my next book, AUSTENSIBLY ORDINARY, coming out in late January, I want to celebrate by giving away a trade paperback copy of AUSTENTATIOUS (Shipping to the US only. Sorry!) There are three ways to enter.
1. Add AUSTENSIBLY ORDINARY to your to-be-read shelf on Goodreads.
2. Follow me on Twitter, so you can get all the deets as the release date gets closer (a_goodnight).
3. Help me in making my dream come true. Tweet the following and send me the link:
“I want to see AUSTENSIBLY ORDINARY by @a_goodnight on @TheEllenShow! #EllenDancesWithAO”
Entries will be accepted through October 2nd, and I will choose a winner on October 3rd! Good luck!