By Richard Jenkyns
Jane Austen's paintings used to be a real triumph of the comedian spirit--of deep comedy, emerging from the center of human existence. In A advantageous Brush on Ivory, Richard Jenkyns takes us on an amiable travel of Austen's fictional global, starting a window on a number of the nice works of global literature. Focusing principally on Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, and Emma, yet with many diverting facet journeys to Austen's different novels, Jenkyns shines a loving gentle at the beautiful craftsmanship and profound ethical mind's eye that informs her writing. Readers will locate, for example, an excellent dialogue of characterization in Austen. Jenkyns's perception into figures similar to Mr. Bennett or Mrs. Norris is brilliant--particularly his portrait of the fun, shrewdpermanent, continuously ironic Mr. Bennett, whose humor (Jenkyns indicates) arises out of a deeply unsatisfied and disappointing marriage. the writer will pay due homage to Austen's unequalled ability with complicated plotting--the good looks with which the first plot and a number of the subplots are woven together--highlighting the limitless care she took to make each one plot element as average and as believable as attainable. possibly most crucial, Jenkyns illuminates the center of Austen's ethical mind's eye: she is continually conscious, all through her works, of the nearness of evil to the comfy social floor. She is aware that the socially appropriate sins can be actually merciless and harsh, understands that society should be purple in teeth and claw, and but she permits the pleasures of comedy and occasion to subordinate them. Insightful and hugely wonderful, A wonderful Brush on Ivory captures the spirit and originality of Jane Austen's paintings. will probably be a adored souvenir or present for her many fanatics.
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Extra resources for A Fine Brush on Ivory: An Appreciation of Jane Austen
9 It is that bitter and passionate compulsion to justify himself that leads him to reveal to Elizabeth what he would otherwise keep a secret. Perhaps that is not totally convincing as an explanation, but it comes pretty close. There is a meticulousness about Jane Austen's craftsmanship that makes her want to mend even the smallest imperfections; and that fact is more striking than the imperfections themselves. A few years ago, I read in succession three novels in which the denouement was brought about by a car crash.
Nineteenth-century fiction is thick with lords and duchesses; the more striking, therefore, is Jane Austen's refusal to deal in that coin. Cinderella, like other pantomimes, ends with a wedding of glittering finery, all whiteness and spangles. ' Recent film adaptations of Jane Austen contrast revealingly with the original. The BBC cast Belton House in the role of Rosings, with the result that Lady Catherine de Bourgh seemed if anything to underestimate her own grandeur. In the film of Emma liveried footmen carrying stools attended Mr Knightley's guests in his garden.
Boy meets girl, boy gets girl' is one of the most basic and universal story patterns that one can imagine, and Jane Austen uses only one of its many subspecies: that in which the story is seen from the woman's point of view. Cinderella is another example of this subspecies, though, as we shall see, most of Jane Austen's heroines are not quite the Cinderella type. Part of her effect lies in the counterpoint between the archetypal simplicity of the underlying pattern and the sophistication of what is built upon it.
A Fine Brush on Ivory: An Appreciation of Jane Austen by Richard Jenkyns