Thursday, June 23, 2011

An interesting quote

[Her] novels . . . seem to me vulgar in tone, sterile in artistic invention, imprisoned in the wretched conventions of English society, without genius, wit, or knowledge of the world. Never was life so pinched and narrow. The one problem in the mind of the writer . . . is marriageableness.
Ralph Waldo Emerson on Jane Austen

Isn't that so interesting that Emerson said that? He is supposed to have been so intelligent, so very astute and insightful ... and yet he could say such a thing. The human mind is a strange place indeed. I can't help but think that someone who would genuinely hold the quoted opinion either hasn't understood one whit of what Austen was trying to communicate, or, in fact, has never read her at all.

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