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A Jane Austen Education: How Six Novels Taught Me About by William Deresiewicz

By William Deresiewicz

An eloquent memoir of a tender man's lifestyles remodeled via literature.

In A Jane Austen Education, Austen student William Deresiewicz turns to the author's novels to bare the striking lifestyles classes hidden inside. With humor and candor, Deresiewicz employs his personal reviews to illustrate the long-lasting strength of Austen's teachings. Progressing from his days as an immature pupil to a fortunately married guy, Deresiewicz's A Jane Austen Education is the tale of 1 man's discovery of the area open air himself.

A self-styled highbrow insurgent devoted to writers similar to James Joyce and Joseph Conrad, Deresiewicz by no means idea Austen's novels may have whatever to provide him. but if he used to be assigned to learn Emma as a graduate scholar at Columbia, whatever amazing occurred. Austen's devotion to the typical, and her trust within the worth of normal lives, ignited anything in Deresiewicz. He started viewing the area via Austen's eyes and treating these round him as generously as Austen taken care of her characters. alongside the best way, Deresiewicz used to be surprised to find that the folks in his existence built the intensity and richness of literary characters-that his personal existence had by surprise received the entire fascination of a unique. His actual schooling had eventually all started.

Weaving his personal story-and Austen's-around those her novels inform, Deresiewicz exhibits how her books are either approximately schooling and themselves an schooling. Her heroines know about friendship and feeling, staying younger and being strong, and, in fact, love. As they develop up, they examine classes which are imparted to Austen's reader, who learns and grows via their aspects.

A Jane Austen Education is a testomony to the transformative strength of literature, a party of Austen's mastery, and a pleasure to learn. no matter if for a newcomer to Austen or a lifelong devotee, Deresiewicz brings clean insights to the novelist and her cherished works. eventually, Austen's international turns into indelibly entwined with our personal, displaying the relevance of her message and the triumph of her vision.

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Additional resources for A Jane Austen Education: How Six Novels Taught Me About Love, Friendship, and the Things That Really Matter

Example text

And not only did I have to become the role of Nelle Porter, I also had to play the role of a celebrity. But what did celebrities do? Did they go to parties, get spray-tanned, become philanthropic? Did they get their hair and makeup done when they went to the supermarket? Did they go to the supermarket at all? Becoming a celebrity felt like a promotion to me. The problem with thinking that being a famous actress was an upgrade from being just an actress was that I wasn舗t given a new job description.

As I shook the hand of the makeup artist, Sarah, and looked her in the eyes, I registered her pupils dilating to begin their scan across my face. Could she see imperfections? Discoloration? Makeup? 舡 The question was straightforward, but her tone was slightly incredulous. Enough to make me feel very embarrassed. 舡 When attacked, defend by lying. 舠Sit down. Let舗s get started. 舡 舠No. You舗re the expert. 舡 The truth was, I wasn舗t so sure. Practically every time I sat in a makeup chair, I舗d look worse at the end than I did before we started.

Standing by his side in the role of his wife, I could run away from myself. But as his van drove away from our California bungalow with its white picket fence, it became clearer with the increasing distance between me and the back of that van that I was, for the first time in my life, free to explore those real desires. The shield had been ripped from me, and standing in the middle of a suburban street in Santa Monica with new skin and gasping for air, I realized that as his van turned the corner, so would I.

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