Monday, May 10, 2010

Jane Austen in Context: Notes

Jane Austen in Context: Notes to Henry Fielding’s Joseph Andrews.

1-19-10. Vanity and Hypocrisy (twin sources of the ridiculous) →Affectation → Ridiculous → Comedy. Fielding’s preface is a key to understanding his ideas. Homer did write a comic epic, therefore, it’s a precedent for Fielding. However, Homer wrote in verse, therefore Fielding needs a justification to write in prose.

Fielding distinguishes between the comic and the burlesque. The comic is linked to portraiture, Hogarth. The burlesque is monstrous, unnatural, a caricature.

Biblical allusion to the Joseph who was tempted by a master’s wife, refused, and was accused of rape, cast out of the house. We’re constructed as readers through these allusions.

Don Quixote, idealistic like Abraham. He believes modern Spain to be Romantic. Naïve and noble. Picaresque: picaro = rogue. Admirable rogue. Road-trip.

The Rhetoric of Fiction, Wayne Booth. Immortal book. Concepts of the implied reader and implied author. In Fielding, the narrator intrudes at every sentence; he constantly constructs an implied reader by assuming we react in certain ways. The rhetoric of fiction fails if we don’t like the picture of ourselves constructed by the author. Whenever the narrator in Joseph Andrews introduces a character, he renders a judgment we’re supposed to accept.

Malapropism. Sheridan modeled his character, on whose name the word is based, on Mrs. Slipslop. (Mrs. is pronounced Mistress., and does not presuppose she is married.) We’re invited to rejoice when she is frustrated.

Theophrastus: wrote very short descriptions of human types. The angry man. The shrew. These were called ‘characters’. Volpone. Psycho-physical epitome: the body expresses the nature of the person.

No one wore underclothes in the 18th century. If you are stripped of your clothes, for example if you are robbed for your clothes, you are naked.

All Nature is but Art, unknown to thee;
All Chance, Direction that thou canst not see. (Pope)

Richardson—transmits intense human experience as it occurs, or shortly after. Author appears to disappear.

1) Epic simile. Episodes will be introduced with or interrupted by extensive similes here.

2) Extended parentheticals. linguistic bravura of the narrator. We can never get away from the narrative and concentrate on the action. The narrator insists on equal time; perhaps is the protagonist. (1 and 2 are both ways the manner intrudes on the matter.)

Style was always linked to genre. High: epic; middle: a little more colloquial, essay; low: colloquial, satire. Combinations of different styles in Joseph Andrews.

The design of Joseph Andrews is the argument of Joseph Andrews. Style involves a world view.

Enthusiasm: the right to personal, suspicious, individual claims, private authority. Joan of Ark.

Simplicity: Artless, plain, uncompounded, not fine; weakness or silliness.

Adams has the illusion that 18th century England is an Anglican country. The people are distinctly un-Christian.

Though Fielding makes distinctions between portraiture and caricature, Trulliber is a caricature, but as chapter advances, becomes more portrait-like.

The story of Joseph Andrews can be figured as a circle, Odyssey. Fiction in a circle is making a theological statement.

The dog is shot. Like a serpent’s coming into the garden. Mr. Wilson’s edenic microcosm: his family has everything they need, a perfect combination of nature and culture, not too much decoration in the house and garden. Fielding punctures the Eden; he is deeply attentive to the world’s cruelties. It is only the narrator who can protect us, the soothingness of the narrator shields us from being distraught about the dog.

The digressions are actually firmly fitted into the stories in the book. The digressions are a commentary on the novel. There will be nothing un-interpreted: aesthetic choices carry implicit ethical significance.

Jane Austen in Context: Notes to Samuel Richardson’s Clarissa.

1-26-10. Richardson: writing to the moment, emotion in process, bulletins from the warfront. Writing to the moment.

Novel’s span of one year. Jan to December. Lovelace pronounced ‘loveless’. Longest novel in English. Epic feature of opening in medias res. The Harlowes are nouveau riche, and have a collective commitment is upward social mobility, an incredible will to power. Soams’s lands adjoin the Harlowes’ land. Ultimate goal—James to gain nobility. Clary is the favorite child of the family. Also, the grandfather left her $. (the law of primogeniture is violated: James didn’t get it.)

Clarissa will not marry someone her father forbids her, but will not marry on command if she doesn’t love a man, either. Clarissa’s battle with Lovelace assumes epic proportions, just like her battle with family.Even Anna doesn’t understand the core of Clarissa.

Johnson loves Richardson over Fielding, but recognizes that the plot is not compelling. Published serially over the course of a year; meant to flower out slowly.

Pg. 46. Not enough for father. He wants to crush her. “conform to my will” He curses her. ‘conformity to the free will of the father’. Hobbesean family: human society must be upheld in order to avoid a state of nature which is brutish and short. We need to enter into a contractual relationship where we compromise.

Lovelace. Richardson chooses the name to remind us of rake & charming character. But the name, also pronounced Loveless, suggests the void that is a problem of Lovelace. 1) “Every woman is at heart a Rake” Lovelace quotes Pope’s Essay on Woman. Every woman’s sexual desire is key to her character. “Importunity—eagerness, pressingness” 2) Importunity & Opportunity no woman is proof against: no woman can resist an importunate lover or opportunity. Mantra 3) once subdued, always subdued. Once you sleep with a woman, she’s yours forever. Language of warfare with sex. Heterosexual male-female relationships are all about conquests. Women have power so long as they refuse. When conquered, women want nothing else than to be love-slaves. Lovelace wants to sleep with her, get her pregnant, make her his mistress, and dangle the idea of marriage over her head, have power over her.

Richardson wants to blacken the reputation of Lovelace, after having received a bunch of letters from the 1st edition protesting Lovelace’s not being reformed. There is a Satanic dimension to Lovelace. Clarissa is no fool; there are many magnetic things about Lovelace. Lovelace was jilted by woman he loved, so he vowed revenge on women. Hecatomb = giant sacrifice of animals. Illiad. There have been many women sacrificed (seduced and abandoned) by Lovelace. But Lovelace wonders whether Clarissa is different. He wonders whether he had really been in love before.

Quotation page 51, comes from act 3 by Othello. The poison of jealousy is beginning to taint Othello. Contours of the tragic drama are being set up.

Pg 53. Lovelace is staying at inn nearby the Harlowes, to plan out abduction. Grandmother appeals to L not to seduce granddaughter; recognizes his power and authority. L quotes Vergil. Aeneas in underworld. Visionary moment of prophecy, son learns future of Roman empire. Father says that Romans, as they conquer the world, will learn to spare the humble/vanquished, and tame the proud. Parcere subjectis et debellare superbos. Granddaughter is besmitted, apparently, with Lovelace.

Part of L values C for her independence; another part wants to crush her, reduce her to a sexualized being characterized by gratitude and appetite.

Pg 210. Simile of catching bird, catching woman. You catch bird, put it in a cage. Get it so sing for you and acknowledge the joy of captivity and sex. One bird, one time, was dumb enough not to be tamed and to protest and starve; but L thinks it’s not possible for a woman to be that stupid. Lovelace is a sadist.

Epistle technique. “I love to write to the moment”. Richardson explains this. Pg xx, people can’t distance themselves from the anxiety for the future. Therefore draws the reader in too. (Attack on Fielding’s 3rd person omniscient narrator: Richardson is still reeling from Shamela and J. Andrews—humorous, ironic, distant, all-knowing distance, dry, unanimated.

Clarissa is technically the most accomplished epistleary novel in English, because Richardson shows about 7 different ways to use the letter.

1-28-10. Tea drinking scene. Dashes-punctuate. She gets the better of him. Lovelace is disconcerted, can’t swallow tea gracefully, reduced to stammering. Atypical. This letter is a brilliant example of a little scripted drama, vs. soliloquy. At the end of the scene, he seems to have undergone a temporary conversion experience; he’s determined to have his way with her, and she turns the tables on him—a revulsion of feeling in Lovelace: he’s overcome by admiration for her. But these conversions are temporary, and the sadist takes over in him again.

His first full-scale attempt to seduce her. The fire scene. Lovelace, feeling increasingly frustrated, decides to trick her by starting an actual, easily contained fire. (clarissa is living at Mrs. sinclair’s house, a brothel; most of the bitches are lovelace’s ex’s). lovelace bursts into her bedroom in the middle of the night. She’s in her nightdress, very nearly naked. Through fright, surprise, and physical proximity, she’ll be seduced.

Handout letter: the equivalent of a soliloquy. Lovelace is not so much heard as overheard. Written to Belford. Lovelace is writing in anticipation of the fire-plot. He still thinks all women are rakes, he can get control over her. He says belford’s nonsense has almost undone (emasculated, softened his resolve to rape; whereas undone for a woman means soiled, deprived of virginity). He thinks of the fire scheme as the equivalent of a land mine which will blow clarissa up. (brilliant example of the letter’s ability to slow down time and enter the thoughts and feelings of the letter writer, construct and communicate the subjectivity of the writer). One of the games that fielding plays with richardson—the events can’t have occurred and at the same time have had the time to be narrated. Not enough time for all this writing.

In this handout letter, there are almost musical movements. The first part is controlled by lovelace’s rationality, now he’s worked up; trying to understand his own vortex of feelings. He’s begun the letter thinking he’s calm, now he’s worked up by his subconscious. The materiality of the letter writing experience, suddenly becomes one of the themes of the letter. Even as he writes, he writes how he has difficulty writing. A sort of seizure.

Clarissa is brought back to the whorehouse, drugged, held down by the women, and raped. Lovelace thought of the rape as a failure; so some theorist thinks he couldn’t get an erection, and that mrs Sinclair actually raped clarissa for her.

The letter as cardiogram metaphor; grafts the tumults of the beating heart, the shifting emotions of the letter writer. A report from the front, in the journalistic sense. Lovelace on the sexual battle line reporting.

“Soft, O virgin saint, and safe as soft, by thy slumbers!” lulling her to sleep, perverse. Heightening his villainy before the attempted rape. This letter creates an individual voice, and excavates the subconscious of the voice.

Clarissa’s mad papers. After she is drugged and raped she comes to half consciousness and we are left in some doubt as to whether she will be sane again, because the power of the drugs combined with some dim memory of what’s been done to herself have come close to annihilating herself. She lives through language. One of the bonds she has with lovelace is the pleasure of linguistic play and literariness. To take away language from clarissa is to take away one of the building blocks of her identity. She tries to reconstitute herself by writing a series of messages; but bc she can’t concentrate, can’t control mind or hand, she tears them and scatters them. Dorcas picks them up. (materiality of letter, letter as analogue to the body. Body torn, letters torn). She tries to grope linguistically back to sanity. Lovelace has attempted to kill her self, she tries to reconstitute.

308. tears papers up. lovelace has been stealing her letters, and here he gets the fragments too. First paper is to closest friend. 2nd is to her father. Paper 5 is to sister. Paper 7 is a kind of parable or fable (she’s trying to reach out to different people, and interpret what happened by quoting literary texts.) lovelace is the caterpillar to her virgin leaf. He is the moth on her fair garment.

2nd handout is a scrap from paper 10. Richardson could play games with typography because he’s a printer. most authors are not in a position to take such liberties with printing. Paper 10 is nothing but an anthology of literary quotations. Hamlet iii.iv, closet scene with mother. The language of the violated rose comes back through hamlet quotation. I could a Tale unfold—Would harrow up thy soul!— bit of forecasting, she feels that she is on the way to death like Hamlet’s father speaking from the grave.

Moving and interesting: clarissa rebuilds herself painful step by step with language. Acts of writing, however fragmented and interrupted. Literary quotations help her to get memory and meaning. Little papers start out as evidence of how shattered she is, but end up by being therapeutic and reconstitutive. She rebuilds herself, and dramatizes, scripts her own death. Beyond her death she scripts her funeral.

326. mock trial. Plot. Dorcas accepted the letter, drops it, lovelace finds it, is pissed at dorcas. Lovelace makes a scene so she’ll come out. He assembles the women in the parlor and creates a sinister sham trial in which he’ll play the judge/accuser. Sinclair and hos will be jury. clarissa will be tried and condemned, and the punishment will be rape. Transfer the guilt of lovelace onto clarissa, carry her upstairs and rape her while she’s conscious. Letter slows time and asks us to be close voyeurs. Extraordinary split between lovelace’s aestheic and sexual self: he admires her virginity virtue beauty, and yet wants to hurt her.

326 clarissa is back in control of her mind and rhetorical powers. She tells off madam and whores before mock trials, repeats aloud that she is not married, shouldn’t be allowed to be raped. Stop pretending you think I’m married people. She has no ethical social or legal obligation to do anything lovelace wants. (she’s been as thoroughly imprisoned by his abuse of language as by his physical. She can’t leave the physical space of the whorehouse, but she’s trying to blast away the linguistic fiction of marriage).

Extraordinary doubleness: he’s admiring of her bravery and resolve, the way she holds the pen knife to him. Yet he wants to harm her. Clarissa’s bravery has as much to do with theology as fear of rape: suicide is the one unforgivable sin. She’s threatening the unthinkable. Moment of complete reversal: lovelace is physically abject and voiceless at clarissa’s heroism. She turns and leaves and walks back upstairs unraped. She sound of the key in the lock that begun the scene, ends the scene.

2-2-10. Passion. the passion and death of Christ. The sufferings of Christ. Root of the word means to suffer and endure in Latin. Over a third of the novel (unabridged) is devoted to the suffering and death of clarissa. What happens to clarissa after the rape is very important.

Ars moriendi tradition. The art of dying tradition. Clarissa’s concern with Holy Dying is not a pathological concern. Frontespiece of Death’s Duel, final sermon. “some of the most powerful sermons in the English language”. Walton describes for us in detail Donne’s preparations for death. Donne wrapped himself in death shroud, had himself painted life-size, and contemplated the paintings. As he breathed his last, he moved his arms and legs into coffin position.

Clarissa half invents and half imitates. Coffin—next to bed, so she can contemplate like donne. The passion of clarissa begins at her lowest physical emotional point, not rape but arrest for debt. Humiliated by arrest in middle of street.

372. midterm. Whether the sample is representative or unrepresentative of the work in question. Clarissa’s and settings. She even during some of the worst episodes of the whorehouse, keeps herself clean. here, her corset is half undone. Passage is unusually realistic. Detailed. Uncharacteristic commitment to this sort of detail. The room is descriptive.
Handkerchief- still preserved a little bit with appearances. Handkerchief is typically used to cover breasts.
Passage departs from epistolarity. Moment of sustained narrative that isn’t bound up in some other expression of something. We forget it’s a letter. Style different from voice-based, moment-based style of expression.

433 a moment of pure allegory. Un-clarissa-like= lie. Sustained example of equivocation—she seems like she’s going to her father’s house, but she’s actually going to her Father’s House. She’s trying to die in peace. Evasive. She wants to turn her own experience of dying not only of personal success but to edify those around her. She genuinely wishes penitence even for Lovelace.

One strand of feminist criticism about clarissa: C is killed by the patriarchy. She wants father’s curse lifted. It is, but he wont receive her physically. Family ultimately accepts her (coffin) but after death. They are punished by Richardson.

Readers wanted lovelace and clarissa together. Richardson edited by blackening lovelace’s character.

She’s severely masochistic. Her own sense of self worth is linked to her father’s approval. She’s severely self-punishing.

Part of what she’s doing in the later stages of the book is taking control of her own life. Late, she has fans and a convert (Belford) attending her. Belford is like Horatio.

Page 450. Coffin. Coffin is a text that is not interrupted, stolen, torn in to bits. She controls it. We begin to think of letters as bodies. Violated, stolen. She writes on the coffin the date of her sin. She has cast herself out and brought this upon herself.

476 deathbed scene. Richardson very carefully constructs three constrasting death scene (two are in the unabridged. Death of Sinclair, surrealistic, gangrene. The other; equally vivid long account of the death of rake.) the novel draws to a close with the companion scene to clarissa’s death scene, lovelace’s.

The capacities of the letter form. Novel appears not to have any controlling hand. Marionette. Johnson’s Rasselas—omniscient narrator different from Fielding.
Letter 1) has the power to explore subjectivity. More than just intense emotion. Subjectivity, that group of qualities that define each of us, mark our distinct way of perceiving and reacting to world.
2) capacity of letter to dramatize action in process. Vs narrative that recreates a completed sequence. This novel is continually in the middle of things.
3) can reveal unconscious desires. More engaged reader-response (revelation of character’s unconscious).
4) the juxtaposition of letters can create powerful irony. Ironic juxtaposition. Different characters’ versions of events. We have to make sense of those discrepancies. We try to construct an objective account. Richardson is controlling us, we’re not free agents, but he’s making it seem like he’s allowing us to construct story.
There are a lot of different ways of understanding clarissa’s characters, there’s no way to form a radically different understanding of joseph andrew’s character.
5) vivid documentary (stay away from the word realistic). Credibility.
6) allow for the manipulation of time, within the novel and in our experience of reading. The regular pulse of an omniscient narrator can’t be made to manipulate time in the same way.

My understanding of the implied author of Rasselas. One of the most memorable opening sentences in the English novel. Austen learned a lot about opening sentences. What kind of world does the sentence construct?

Jane Austen in Context: Notes to Samuel Johnson’s Rasselas.

2-4-10. Opening sentence Rasselas. Ye, attend. (Imperative). Not implied reader, explicit reader. Narrator is shaping a reader from the beginning of the tale. Person the narrator constructs is complacent—don’t be gullible, complacent about satisfaction later in life. Fancy/imagination won’t help you.
Parallel construction. Invites us to understand the thematic link between the two.

Johnson’s best known poem is The Vanity of Human Wishes—toxic desires and misleading hopes: beauty, power, long life. Hope is often delusional, the projection of desire onto the outside world, whereby we create fictions.

Suspending the verb until the end, effect of suspension… he tells who we are, then we have to wait till the end of the sentence in order to be told what to do.

What kind of narrator? A person interested in disillusioning us. Boswell calls Rasselas the equivalent of a medicine for malaria (preventative and curative), designed to remove the flush fever and dreams of sickness. Narrator says, there are a lot of people who need my lesson. Lesson about the vanity of human wishes, the futility of human desires. Text strips away expectations, like that if you search hard enough you can locate a way of life likely to result in happiness.

The original title of the book was The Choice of Life. What drives Rasselas is the search.

Narrator wants us to think analytically about hopes and delusions. Sentence very finely balances urgency and reflection. Do this now, it’s important; but there’s nothing hysterical about this feeling of urgency: you need to proceed with deliberation. Make Haste Slowly.

We have, in the four principle characters, an opportunity to explore gender, class, and age.

Like Milton’s eden, it is enclosed at the top of a mountain, surrounded by a fence which satan is allowed to penetrate.

Want is a key word. Until well in the 19th century meant to lack and to desire. I want nothing means I lack nothing and desire nothing.

Middle part of book cross sections of ways of life, Socio-Economical Status.

Worksheet: dialectics. A form of reasoning, Hegel. Thesis & antithesis. Dialectical opposites. Then moves, through interrogation, reasoning and exploration, from opposition between the two to a least a postulated synthesis. Pleasure seeking youths versus Stoic guy who lost his kid. Rural life—all three forms unsatisfactory. High vs Middle Class. Celibacy versus Married Life: perfect instance of the way this text works:
Marriage has many pains but celibacy has few pleasures…

The very experience of reading is meant to act out the theme of questioning. A way of living interrogatively.

The word sentences comes from sententia: concise statements of some moral truth.

Genre: why is Rasselas in our syllabus? 5 frames, ways of positioning the text.
1. a fairy story. Once upon a time… Johnson himself wrote a fairy tale.
2. philosophical dialogue. Like Plato. Characters work through dialectic.
3. allegorical pilgrimage. Pilgrim’s progress.
4. oriental tale. The Persian Letters, Montesqueu. fiction, travel narrative, philosophy. Visitors from the east come to the west and make observation. Satiric.
5. Romance. Like Fairie Queene.

What Rasselas is not, is a novel interested in mimetic realism, doesn’t seek to represent real life or the complexity of psychology. It is constantly proclaiming its own fictional status. Why? Johnson was concerned with didacticism, (even dictionary terms were didactic)

Johnson defines fiction is “a thing feigned or invented” comparable to a lie. Work like Joseph Andrews Inflames our imagination, takes us away from the calm contemplation of our own failings. Thought this about Shakespeare too. The Preface. Single greatest bit of Shakespearean criticism. We have to infer a moral system out of his dramas, Shakespeare. Neglects to do it for us.

Johnson’s favorite contemporary novelist was Richardson. Insofar as he can like fiction, he likes Richardson. Imagination in the service of morality. Richardson blackened Lovelace to make sure we get it as a morality tale.

Ch 44, the astronomer. The dangerous prevalence of imagination: he thinks he can control the weather, thinks he’s so powerful, he must regulate weather. If he gets distracted, weather won’t go right. Magical thinking. Psychiatrists have saluted this story as pre-Freudian. Great. Even the most rational man can think crazy shit.

Imlac helps us to understand fiction. Fantasy, for Johnson is inherently dangerous, it is not a benign state. For modern Americans, it is.

Fictions begin to operate as realities. (both in the sense of little ideas we create in our minds, and in the book Johnson writes).

The characters in this book are types, sets of opinions.

There is a direction connection to the astronomer situation and some Austen’s concerns. She wants to involve us in the minds and worlds of her principle characters; but at least two heroines are case-studies of the problems in chapter 44: Catherine Northanger Abbey (fiction operates as reality, girl lost herself in a world of gothic fantasy) ; and Emma. Johnson was Austen’s favorite moral writer. Multiple moments where Austen is constructed along Johnsonian moral lines.

How do the concluding fantasies of the end reflect previous fantasies, and have the characters grown? Pekuah’s fantasy is the opposite; she wants to become head of nuns, but not luxury. She wants combo of seclusion and activity.
She has learned from her adventure of being kidnapped. Qualitative difference between what she imagines for herself here and previously.

They return to Abyssinia, return therefore to the happy valley? Bildungsroman? (roman – novel) (bildung – education).

Two possible lessons learned: 1 Christian context, even though there’s no explicit Christian reference. Don’t forget the afterlife, be more interested in that than in contemplating life. While you’re busy contemplating life, don’t forget to live.
The data derived from daily living are the preconditions for careful thoughts and choices.

Jane Austen in Context: Notes to Francis Burney’s Evelina.

2-9-10. For a while young women are shocked at signs of rudeness. Their ears are wounded by the language of vice: Oaths, imprecations, double meanings, every thing obscene fills them with disgust and horror. But custom soon begets familiarity; and familiarity produces indifference. The emotions of delicacy are less frequent, less strong. And now they seldom blush, although perhaps they often affect it… their minds are already debauched…

With regard to the better sort of men… if in the flutter of too public a life you should at any time so far forget yourselves, as to drop that nice decorum of appearance and manner, which is expected from your sex… they will be tempted to harbour suspicions which I dare not name. (James Fordyce, Sermons to Young Women).

EVELINA ANVILLE. Anagram. She has no last name, it’s been made up out of her first name. She’s in limbo in terms of family affiliation and class.

One of the most ancient devices is the device of the substitute or smuggled child.

Reverend Villars. Betrayed by desire, the physical charms of the barmaid. Reread through the lens of Austen, Pride and Prejudice, Mr. Bennett allows him judgment to be clouded by lust.

Madam Duvall is an English barmaid, for all her French Pretension.

Anvil. Everyone hits on her. Evelina’s cheeks are perpetually aflame with embarrassment. The problem of embarrassment or the lack of embarrassment. Young ladies are supposed to be delicate prudes. Proof is the blush. But the blush (paradox) is that it’s the sign of knowingness.

Evelina needs to have ‘organized innocence’, Blake.

What kind of romantic hero is Lord Orville? Mr Darcy? Misunderstanding. Her misapprehension of the hero’s intentions. Willoughby has more sexual energy than Orville. Willoughby is badboy. Both Orville and Villars are feminized males. Strong sexual energies are demonized in this book.

High-jacking is presented as a double rape. 147. One of Clement’s ancestors is Lovelace. Doesn’t want to marry, just wants to have sex. The strange part of this scene is that the ducval part is violent.

Burney hasn’t been able to sentimental, satirical, and farcical: Burney hasn’t been able to assimilate. They go back and forth. Aesthetic failure.

150. The language has color energy specificity that we don’t find elsewhere in the book, except the exact parallel of the monkey scene at the end of the very end of the book.

Lovel, duval, and mirvin? Mirvin is xenophobic. Mirvin does’t like that Lovel goes to the play just to be seen. So they’re, on the surface, not alike. Duval is burney’s version of an English pantomime (a prince, always played by a woman, and a grotesque funny female character always played by a man)… Madam Duval is a drag-queen. She’s called in the novel a virago. (family of words: termagant, shrew. Derogatory words for women who are indelicate; physically and verbally transgressive.) Virago comes form vir, man, a woman who is manlike. Made fun of and punished. Lovel is her companion, because he is an effeminate man who has taken up some of the bx of a mincing young woman; where Duval has taken up bx of rude young man.

Mirvin can’t stop messing with Lovel & Duval. His punishments of them involve humiliation of physical violence. Lovel is covered with blood as a result of the attack from the monkey, and screams as Duval screams at the near-rape.

Handout—instructions to young women. In the form of sermons. How do you preserve your delicacy? Jane (character in austen book) wonders.

Branghton. Beverly hillbillies. Bramble and rangle. Structure of humiliation is repeated over and over. Mortification is her defining state in the book.

What complicates Evelina’s entrance into the world? 1- Ambiguous family. 2- preoccupation with mortification (jane austen is indebted, which are necessary, in austen, for preparation to marry darcy).

Mrs. Selwyn, the protector of Evelina, takes Evelina into a combined city & country area. Neighbor of villars in the country. Selwyn has a masculine capacity for satire 269. She calls on the dissolute guys to recite Horace. She can and they can’t. Evelina is ambivalent about her feelings for Selwyn: Selwyn is masculine and engages in satire (masculine), but yet she’s helpful. Burney is like Mrs Selwyn. Strong satiric streak, even vitriolic. There are characters she creates in all of her novel who unloose on the idiots in the book. In the character of evelina there is burney’s own ambivalent attitutude about satire. It’s funny, but masculine.

One of the parallels austen burney: emma spends her early wedded life at home with daddy. She wont marry unless live with daddy. Evelina goes on her wedding night back to villars, to the arms of the best of men.

Jane Austen in Context: Notes on the Juvenilia.

1-14-10. The narrator in each one of Austen’s novels is the protagonist. Austen does not write herself into her fiction, nor are the narrators of her novels the same.

Austen’s novels are combinations of 1) omniscient narration (Fielding & Johnson; brought to perfection in the 18th c., in France too, e.g. Dangerous Liasons), 2) epistolary narration (Richardson & Burney), and 3) theatrical representation (Sheridan: not explored in this course, but major facet of Austen).

Sense and Sensibility began as epistolary. Pride and Prejudice probably too.

Austen’s original achievement begins with parody: true of almost every important 18th c. writer.

The gap between language and conduct. (Emma). Linguistic fig-leaves, simplify conversation, substitute euphemisms.

Most of the characters in the Juvenilia are ruthless narcissists.

The courtship novel would have been considered ossified without Austen.

2-18-10. Four ways of thinking about the juvenilia: Workshop, Crucible (severe, searching test or trial), Echo-chamber, Playground.

The juvenilia is wildly experimental in stylistic terms. Connection btw Juvenilia and The Mad Woman in the Attic. Fiction by English writers is rage against the patriarchy and circumstances that make it difficult to fulfill advocation as writer.

Jane is often typed as unthinking conservative. But juvenilia shows otherwise. Style and substance. Even revolutionary. E. Welty: ‘sheltered life can be a daring life. All serious daring starts from within’.

Lady Susan is the first novel, but is never published. Epistleary novel. We can read it in manuscript now.

We’re led to expect completion of parallelism, : ‘rewarding the industry of some by smiles of approbation, and punishing the idles of others, by a cudgel’. (middle to low style.) –world of young Austen is the world of extraordinary random violence. Also fairy-tale like element of surprise.

Cameo—a work of small and intricate jewelry that you pin on your shirt. Austen said her works were the equivalent of painting on a small square of ivory. Miniatures.

Infantine tho’ sprightly = odd word order, surreal. 31.

Calm, smooth, poised, authoritative, all-knowing manner= omniscient narrator of Joseph Andrews.

Suddenly moral categories that seem so stable, and the perspective of the narrator, seems topsy-turvey.

Benevolism—fundamentally optimistic take on human nature. Self-approving joy. We should do good deeds because we experience the realization of our own inward generosity. Vs. Augustinianism, we’re all born sinful creature and need grace to overcome.

A mutual love took place—seems to absolve the characters of agency. These characters want something and they take it.

Narrator in Henry and Eliza: tone is stable, nonchalance, but content is unstable.

Compression: tom stoppard’s 15 minute hamlet, very funny. The material for a long novel is being compressed.

Duchess, pissed that Eliza eloped with her daughter’s fiancé, sends 300 men after them, seems like an action film. Then we’re in a kind of horror film. (kids bite off mom’s fingers).

Bizarre amnesia that afflicts these characters. Husband sails away and forgets wife pregnant; wife forgets she had baby.

Extremely clever mismatch between matter and manner in this story.
Another part of the joke; conventions austen associates with fielding (content and omniscient narrator) are both mimicked and turned upside down.

Amelia Webster:. Parody of epistlary novel. Richardson. How are conventions of familiar letter. ‘ I have a million things to tell you but I will later. I can’t’. mocks the purpose of a letter which is communicative. They have no inside. They are all formal but empty. The whole thing is one big tease. Creates the hypothetical of conveying information; but doesn’t.

Syntactical conclusion: ‘the days grow short; but I am in all weather, yours, Samuel Johnson’. Frills and embellishment. All the funnier in austen here are frills in concluding a short letter which conveys almost no information.

Narcissism and selfishness of characters is disguised by pretence of courtesy and concern. Characteristic: self-deluded and self-deluding characters who speak the language of altruism and nuanced ideas, but behave in a hobbesian world of selfishness and violence. Particularly striking in the courtship juvenilia. Strips away any veneer. (mature novels of austen are complex in showing both cynical and romantic at once) but juvenilia is cynical.

Reductio ad absurdam. Stream of consciousness. Essence of the mercenary young woman and her calculation.

Love and Friendship, 3 examples of young austen’s parodic link to authors. Johnson, 81. Abstractions. Parallel syntax. Austen takes parallelism and twists it 77—stinking fish of Southampton

Evelina 84. Alternate fainting. Alternately. (completely explodes the idea of being uncalculated.) taking turns, stylized. Choreographed. Playing the role of sentimental heroines, indulging in the rhetoric and behavior or sentimental heroine, but manipulating for their own benefits. All of the characters in the juvenilia use social convention to get what they want. Fictions of gentility.

Austen mocking the idea that souls can meet and their souls vibrate. The fiction is that you’re best friends for the duration of your interaction with someone.

88. Laura recognizes grandfather who she’s never seen. Sophia is granddaughter too. Then grandson. Grandfather wants to make sure no other kids. Elaborate coincidence, (part of the great design of the author; coincidence is not coincidental; mirrors hierarchical Christian world, narrator is god, A. Pope quote). Joseph Andrews—family tree emerging out of nowhere. Farcical.

Austen strips away theological bent (A Pope quote) of fielding, so it’s just farce. Recreate influences, and subvert them.

Jane Austen in Context: Notes on Northanger Abbey.

2-23-10. Each austen novel begins with a sentence that helps to create a sense of the entire world.

Northanger Abbey is a bildungsroman, and also a gothic novel; it is also a parody of bildungroman and gothic.

Teasing, playful, ironic narrator. debts to fielding, this world is a puppet show.

Destiny—formulae. Destiny is a matter of what genre the novel is written into.

Metanovel, invokes imitates and parodies : sentimental romance/bildungroman (evelina). … and… the gothic novel. (most popular form of novel late 1790s. this was written in 1798-1803.) mrs radcliffe’s novel. And Frankenstein (gothic + reimagining of radcliffe’s genre). (jane eyre has important gothic element. + romance = harlequin romance par excellence).

Henry tilney is both mocker and consumer of gothic. and a creator (his lie to Catherine).

Fiction about fiction making (literary forms, eg gothic) and story-tellers (Isabella… she is self-deceived.) (austen connection between reading texts and reading people. People who are good readers, accurate, precise of text are the same with regard to reading people.) Catherine starts out misreading Isabella. Education of Catherine is process of learning to read people. Catherine realizes Elanore is a good friend, not Isabella, eg later on where long duplicitous letter from Isabella. “vain coquette”.

Henry tilney is the teacher of Catherine. Strong pedagogic relation. The education of catherine is largely in the classroom of henry. He doesn’t force knowledge, he’s Socratic. The conversation about learning to love a hyacinth.

Fiction maker: Catherine. Murder fantasy. “this is a delicious moment”.

general tilney’s kicking out Catherine violates social code. Shocking aggression. Catherine travels alone. (moment of genuine gothic. he’s not a murder, but an incanation of tyrannical and abusive patriarch father).

42. kind of sentence that the maturing austen writes less and less (debt to fielding.) tone reminds us of joseph andrewes. Introduction to character. … there’s no room for us to differ with the narrator’s assessment of character. This is a “psycho-physical epitome”… fielding’s method of introduces people. Intro to slip-slip. Essential qualities.
Tone of fielding’s slip slip is amused but contemptuous. Tone of Catherine—affectionate protecting.

Connection to burney’s evelina, London is dangerous for evelina; bath for Catherine.

Tilney woulnd’t have given catherine a second look had he not been aware that she dug him. Gratitude. Not so flattering to Catherine, but so what.

58. narrator interrupts and erupts. Narrator attacks characters in novels who denigrate novels. A tone of earnestness and exasperation. Not the perfectly poised, magisterial novelist; rather it’s a young novelist venting, making a case for the importance of fiction. Self-authorizing moment.

92. narrator seems to be treating Catherine as the center of consciousness. Then we’re pulled away—the character is scolded from without. Parody of Johnson. Dress is frivolous. Next page, empathy. The narrator is the novel’s principal character. Narrator of P& P doubles Elizabeth Bennett. Close relationship. In northanger, far from doubling. Is there a character who performs the role of narrator? Henry? You wouldn’t be able to gender the narrator. Henry and narrator both playful and pedagogical.

Henry listens to and corrects Catherine. What did you mean by nice. Playful mocking. He gets her to speak and see and read, all part of the flirtation. Henry and narrator both like novels. But Catherine constantly blurs the distinction between wit and judgment; fantasy and reality. She sees people through the veils of fiction. It produces at the worst great embarrassment (not disaster, because narrator and henry collaborate to protect her)

175. Socratic. How doe you learn, by accident or argument. Henry is a clergyman in a country parish. A suitable wife is extra crucial for him. (in defense of henry).

There are two moments in the novel, at least, when the narrator pulls the rug out from under Henry. 126. He creates what’s meant to be a scenario of an improbable disaster, in order to criticize fantasy. But really happened in 1780, protestant mob took control of London. His authority as a critic is compromised. Page 195. Affectionate and educational crushing of Catherine; she’s most grievously humbled. Ever austen novel---heroines fantasies crushed; emerges thereafter on the right track. (eliz reads and rereads darcy’s long letter). … England was in a state of political oppression; gov’t ramming through anti-terrorist laws, spying on people. Counterrevolutionary program of surveillance, atmosphere of fear. (wordsworth). Henry represents something that he thinks couldn’t happen, yet it does in England. Henry’s authority of educator of Catherine is compromised.

224. Catherine returns not in bmw, but beat up wagon. No way for a heroine to return to her village. Tone: ironic. It doesn’t really matter what she arrives in. austen is distancing herself. (yet austen doesn’t violate the convention that heroine gets her man.)

239. novel’s closing. Startling. Beginning of last sentence is pompous moral, then ending is funny and subversive. … how deep does this flippancy does this novel’s cut? … this is a bridge text from juvenilia to fully mature novel. (professor thinks PP is the first fully mature novel.) we’re asked to adopt multiple perspectives that don’t always add up to a sense of them as characters or a couple.

Lord orville has a feminine delicacy. Henry likes novels. But neither are ruled out as lovers.

Preliminary exploration as the theme of SS, Catherine = sensibility; henry = sense. Reeducation of Catherine is through reason and judgment.

Jane Austen in Context: Notes on Sense and Sensibility.

2-25-10. Page 5- opening sentence. Dashwoods have been long rooted in the Sussex. Ironic, because they’re gonna be displaced.

1st character we meet doesn’t even have a name, just The Old Gentleman. His country seat is Norwood. (archetypal, fairytale quality. Once upon an time.) Henry is the nephew.

Strict end-tail. (total primogeniture)

Henry hopes to develop a savings account on the profits on the land (for second wife), but he dies within a year. Instead tries to make john promise.

7 – plot. Narrator first goes to inner life of john, and in her balanced, surgical way, makes us to understand that he’s selfishness and the appearance of prudence.

Think about marriages. ‘had he married a more amiable woman’,… (amiable is an important and protean word for austen.)
Fond too. Early 18th c., means excessively attached, negative, over-much. The newer sense of the work in austen’s time is positive; but austen plays on old use.

7- very condensed expository first chapter.

25. – 29. Read aloud in class. Lady Macbeth. convincing husband to do something bad, not leave money. breaking a sacred promise. Wife discerns and cultivates the darkest aspect of her spouse, while at the same time enabling him, through argument, to pretend that he’s doing a good thing.
She discerns that he resents his father, so she plays on that.

Austen’s portrait of a hobbsean economic world, w/out compassion. It’s a dark world. Women are regularly exploited, sexually and financially by ruthless or weak men. And two women, at least. Fanny and fanny’s mother.

The horrifying characters are allowed to trample the vulnerable, for most of the novel, until the narrator saves, deus ex machina.

112. central character is the narrator. Each narrator is distinct. Blend of fielding and Johnson. Johnson –comments about human beings and bx, distilled into generalizations. A fond mother…is likewise the most credulous. – you could take it out and think about it as an axiom.
Sudden shift in diction: exhorbitant to swallow. Pleasure and pungency of the moment. Narrator is unillusioned and disillusioned.

113 narrators really sarcastic.
Everyone looks like a shit. Mrs middleton spoils her kids, the steele sisters are kiss ups, the children are brats. There’s nothing authentic here. All about simulation. … Elinor and marriane calmly watch and make judgments. Elinor and Marriane double the narrator. 114. The two sisters are as one with the narrator, but they’re also much different. Marianne is incapable of phoniness, has no patience with it. The novel asks whether this refusal is possible.

Marianne has opted out of the marriage market. Elinor has the same integrity of Marianne, but she’s willing to play the game.

Their reactions to abandonment are different. Marianne is outwardly emotional.

84, she courts the misery after abandonment. Potboiling biography, The Agony and the Ecstasy. Marianne likes both. Masochism.

Edward is caught between his wish for independence and his castrating mother. She’s constantly threatening to disinherit. Money is the power to manipulate.

Marianne’s fantasy is to be poor in a cottage and abandon the world of money.

119. elinor, Edward, or lucy. She doesn’t let her body betray her to Lucy. 124. When elinor realizes, … she has the strongest emotion in the novel. Yet it’s hidden.

117. narrator. Free indirect speech. Austen’s principal technical contribution to the English novel. Never so extensively and to such great effect has a novelist used this. Without using quotation marks, the narrator speaks for a character. –look up. it allows us to explore a character through her own words without using the narrator’s own ananlytical contribution; the narrator never loses control, but we are able to, --through the character’s vocabulary—understand the character’s perspective.

Idiolect, private speech, a character’s distinctive way of expressing herself. Private speech in austen’s mature work, most of the characters have an idiolect.

There’s a link between free indirect and idiolect, then we can understand the shift. We’re getting little bits and pieces of character’s idiom in what narrator says.

Narrator’s feelings about lucy and elinor’s feelings are the same. Do we feel at any point in the narrative that elinor is being quoted? Elinor has a different syntax; balanced and precise; she’s capable of forming a nuanced assessment of people, just as she’s capable of integrating thinking or feeling.
Marianne’s characteristic utterance is an ejaculation. Elinor avoids. She can be intense, but is fully intricate.

3-4-10. Eliza I, Eliza II, … nested at the center of the novel, like Russian Dolls. Eliza II was seduced by Willoughby. An inset narrative. Colonel Eliza I was a close relation of Col Brandon. It flowered into a romance, but the father insisted that Eliza marry Brandon’s brother, not Brandon.

177 / 178 his pleasures were not what they ought to have been. Reference to some kind of S&M. dark reference, powerful understatement.
Her native gifts should have blossomed but they were perverted. She seeks comfort elsewhere, seeking adulterous affair. “her first guilty connection”

“criminal conversation” = legal term for adultery. She’s convicted of adultery. Her hubby’s cruelty is not a mitigating circumstance. Divorce, punitive. She gives birth to child by lover. The love relation ends, she whores around. The mom contracts a fatal disease. (Austen is asking us to remember Clarissa). Brandon, powerless to save her, honors her death bed request to raise child. (Evelina). Eliza II is taken to Bath at 16…

Bath is always a place of disguise deception and danger for Austen. And others, but more so for Austen. You drank sulfuric water and immersed in the hotsprings. Dancing and gaming social world grew up around this spa like atmosphere.

Willoughby says that eliza ii threw herself at him, she’s partially to blame. But she was 16 and totally naïve, he was experienced. Brandon’s perception that Eliza I is extraordinarily like Marianne. The idea that Willoughby is going to do to Marianne what he has done to Eliza ii, (and what other dudes did to Eliza I) is upsetting. Marianne almost becomes eliza iii.

What’s the point of naming both daughters eliza. It can happen to any girl, every girl. Men are unscrupulous or weak and incapable of protecting women. Brandon incapable of protecting. Women are continually being exploited and seduced until the end of the novel.

Austen is working through the darkest possible implications for a woman who transgresses and gets seduced, in this novel. In other novels, get treated more tenderly. Fortunately for Elizabeth Bennett, Mr. Darcy provides ultimately protection.

159 Marianne receives letter from Willoughby. Mrs Jennings cries with Marianne. Willoughby denies that there ever was anything between them. There are some rapacious women as well as men (when women, oppressed, get the opportunity to do it so someone else, they do it to others. Fanny Dashwood, Lady Middleton, Mrs. Ferrars) He is taking dictation from his fiancé. She is standing over him.

Elinor is capable of a degree of bodily self control. There is a key scene where elinor is praised for the screens she has painted. Expert painter of fire screens. Metaphoric way of thinking about her expertise at screening her private emotions from public view.

Marianne is dedicated to an ethic of total transparency, words and body. The result is a clarissa-like decline, psychosomatic illness comes close to killing her. Official diagnosis is putrid fever, but clear that psychosomatic. Right after putrid fever crisis has passed, Willoughby shows up. Byronic figure. Comes to confront elinor, thinks Marianne is still dying. Is there a kind of exorcism taken place. He comes in part to atone in front of elinor.

How transformed or remade is Marianne in the end? The logic of the plot pushes her towards marrying Brandon. Willoughby is one of the many participants in a toxic diseased marriage in this book. Are there any authentically happy marriages? (Emma Thomson realizes the ending is problematic, so she casts Brandon as sexy guy)

222.elinor speech. Contextualize this speech—it’s extorted from her by Marianne, who insists she doesn’t have feeling. Syntax. Part of the idiolect. (not fragmented, interrogative, ejaculatory, --language like the body should always be authentic and transparent) elinor’s attitude is that language mediates the public and private. Balance. Even when she’s communicating intense suffering, she rationalizes emotional and rational. Rasselas like sentences. Heir to the idea that language should regulate imagination.

But after illness, Marianne speaks more like elinor in the final pages of the book! An automaton even, according to one critic.

“endeavouing to appear indifferent” elinor. Marriane doesn’t ‘endeavour’ to ‘appear’.

Elinor is finally overcome when she realizes lucy married Robert not Edward.

233 lucy’s letter. Almost a juvenilia. The Familiar Letter. The letter indexes the character of the writer; we can read the character through reading the text. What kind of portrait is this of Lucy? Self-interested, self-promoting drivel designed to wound. Bad grammar. Parody of the notion that a good letter is like good conversation –part of what the two have in common is the appearance of ease and spontaneity, careful to be proper and not offend. But lucy rambles like she speaks.

Roll call of repulsive women: Mrs Fanny Dashwood. (chapt 2 of Sense and Sense similar to chap 1 of PP, = a complete little drama in which language is abused for the purposes of rationalizing greed and selfishness; by end of chapter, mrs and mr dashwoods have reinforced each other’s worst traits, and marriane and el are out in the cold.

Mrs Ferrars. The clearest example of virago type, a woman who has something of the wealth and power and authoritarian streak of patriarch, result of which is manipulation and emasculation of her two sons. What drives her is consolidating and expanding wealth (almost like a member of the harlowe family.)

Lucy Steele, Mrs. Palmer, always laughing, interpreting hubby’s rudeness as wit and charm. Hurting inside, probably, trying to make the best of a bad marriage.

The admirable women in the book: (apart from vulnerable heroines.) would you count their mother? A lot of elinor’s problems are caused by mom, who is in her own little world. Mom thinks Willoughby wouldn’t hurt marriane, elinor has to school mom on willoughy. Elinor has two Marianne’s to deal with.

Col. Brandon is the dues ex machina. There is some heavy of that in the end of the book, eg. Brandon offers to support Edward financially. Then is interested in Marianne.

314. what is the tone, and what can we infer about narrator’s reaction to Marianne. A little condescending to Marriane’s former silliness. Also sort of affectionate, playful mocking. Teasing marianne’s previous conviction that you only marry someone that you’re incandescently in love with (whereas now she’s in love with Brandon). Distant echo of Milton: marriage = friendship enlivened by desire. “with such a confederacy against her” (not only Brandon elinor and Edward, but narrator too pushes Marianne into the arms of Brandon).

What about the ending. What do you make of it. Austen hasn’t created for her two heroines mates of sufficient vitality to ensure happiness. (not the case in PP).

The two elizas… loom in the end. Eliza ii is shoved out of the book. We know she’ll be given an allowance by Brandon, but she enters only to be dismissed. Also, eliza is remarkable because she’s close to Marianne. Marianne could have been totally fucked like eliza, happiness is in part chance.

The sense of the fragile happiness, which can only be produced by deus ex machina.

Jane Austen in Context: Notes on Pride and Prejudice.

3-16-10. It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.

Introduces us to the matter and distinctive manner. It’s not a truth, perhaps to narrator, Liz. “universally acknowledged” is a contribution, a redundancy from the narrator, to ironize. “must” , i.e. not only does, but damn well better. Want to marry some of our daughters.

The syntax is interesting. ‘man’ and ‘wife’ are linked in the sentence by ‘fortune’. Feelings are subordinated to social and economic concerns. It’s always a mistake to intuit that Austen is completely dismissing this approach to marriage, Cf. how Elizabeth responds to the proposal to Charlotte.

Jane Austen is amongst other things a highly accomplished satirist. But one of our tasks is to understand the implied norm that’s being violated. A satirist only convinces us to the authenticity of his vision by showing us what norms are being violated. That implied norm may only come in the end of the novel when Darcy marries Liz.

104. this is one of the narrator’s voices, that derives from Fielding and Johnson. Diction: Latinate. Syntax: parataxis and hypertaxis, Johnson’s: doublets and triplets, pairs and trios of nouns. Pride and obsequeiousnes, self-importance and humility. Fielding: we are not given any alternative for understanding Mr Collins. Pinned to the bored like butterflies on display.

This is the narrator at her most sustained and surgically incisive. There are other versions of the narrator. It’s rare in austen in that a character is introduced so authoritarianly. More often we have more latitude, multiple understandings, and uncertainty. This paragraph helps us to trace ‘free and direct speech.’, the unadulterated narrative voice.

49. gives us a telling example of the danger of understanding character only through social mask. Darcy is understood strictly through the way he behaves, and his facial expression. (Mr Bingley misreads Jane’s feelings for him because she can’t perform her feelings for him; she is misunderstood as not liking him enough.)

examples of free indirect speech in this paragraph? (uses the idolect.) look for specific words that could be put quotation marks and assigned to particular expression. Often the syntax is not free indirect speech, more likely specific word. “pronounced and declared” is the tip off that : “a fine figure of a man” is something someone probably said.

The ultimate danger (repeatedly in Mansfield park and emma) in not distinguishing narrator from free indirect speech, is you misjudge the narrator, therefore the relationship between the narrator and the character. In every novel, the narrator chooses at least one character as her double. Elizabeth and Mr. Bennett. BOTH arch ironist. But the novel celebrates AND critiques irony. Consequence: Mr. Bennet has given up on his family and retreated into his shell. He can’t even be bothered to stop his daughter from going to Brighton. He later is broken by not stepping in for Lydia.

Narrator critiques her own stand-ins! An ironic perspective should have limitations.

Social stratification. A big secret about America is that we’re class-ridden, but we find it offensive when we think about it. England is blatant about it.
4 Social Categories:
1) Laboring class (Austen doesn’t explore. Mr. Martin in Emma is the closest we get, but he is really a gentleman farmer.)
2) Trade. (Evelina is mortified to spend the summer with the Branghtons. In trade. There’s a constant fear of social de-volution. Particularly for the nouveau riche. The Harlowes.) Mr. Gardiner. Elizabeth ‘glories’ in the Gardiners because they shatter the snobbish stereotypes: they’re elegant and refined. Mrs. Bennet was born Miss Gardiner. As was Mrs Phillips.

Jane Bennet is referred to as Miss Bennett. Younger siblings are referred to, e.g., as Miss Elizabeth Bennett.

The woman always acquires the social status of her husband. Mrs. Bennett is constantly reminding people of her richer background, therefore is silly.

Somber and dark: the novel opens with a verbal tiff between husband and wife. You see the pathology in marriage. It originated in lust. Mr Bennett is infatuated with Gardiner because of her physical charms. He marries her. Loses all respect for her. Never gets to know her as a friend. In austen’s fiction: friendship is the foundation on which good marriages are built.

If you were rich enough to take the grand tour, you were expected to get sexual experience with an Italian countess. Then marry a virgin.

3) the lower gentry. Distinction between lower and upper is antiquity of family and size of the fortune. Mr. Bennet. Mr. Bingley. nouveau riche. Cruelty is the direct result of social ambition.
Mr Bennet’s fortune is dependent on primogeniture. Mother and five daughters are left with pittance. (Jane Austen’s own condition. She only lived a tolerable life because one of her brothers was adopted by rich people.) Women without money of their own are precariously dependent on men.
Sir William Lucas, who has risen from trade because he was mayor and presented a speech to the king, and was knighted in thanks. (A knight title cannot be bequeathed; baron title can.)

3.5) upper gentry. The Darcys are a great example of upper gentry: old and rich. There are still untitled families in England who look down on ‘aristocracy’, the ‘titled’, because they think more important is antiquity, that you’ve been Mr. Smith of Pemberton Hall for 300 years.

4) Aristocracy. Earl Fitzwilliam: Duke (most important), Marquis, Earl, Vicount, Baron (least)

All the daughters of all five have the title Lady, and stays with them even if they marry outside of the aristocracy. Earl Fitzwilliam’s kids: Lady Catherine., Lady Anne., X (whose kid is Col. Fitzwilliam). Lady Anne marries Mr Darcy Sr., father of our Mr Darcy. Lady Cath marries some dude, one child who is promised to our Mr. Darcy, the child’s cousin. Lady Catherine never forgets that she comes from the upper aristocracy.

p. 150. Miss Lucas has been stationing herself watching for him. Pretends to be accidental. How is the narrator conditioning us to evaluate Charlotte so far? Charlotte is: plain, poor, and 27 [shelf life about to expire]. At the beginning of the novel, Lydia 15, Eliz 20, Jane 22. (22 is prime age for the market. 25 is stale. 27 is desperate.) Very limited time span. About 16 to 26 are marriageable years. For women. Charlotte Lucas thinks of this as her last chance.

“Thus stupidity with which…” Blend of narrator and charlotte as the center of consciousness. 2nd part of sentence is narrator’s report on charlotte’s thoughts. She doesn’t want a long engagement, she wants to minimize Collins’s opportunity to be dumb and annoying. Later, she takes as her office an unattractive room, to keep Collins away from her; gives Collins a nice room for his study.

“disinterested” now means uninterested. (changed just in the last 20 years or so.) Then, it meant without a personal agenda.
Her desire for a marriage is purely utilitarian, emotionally disinterested. It’s more chilling to read ‘disinterested’ unironically (verses saying that she really did care).

Page 152. Pleasantest preservative (something medicine-y and gross) from want.

This woman is Elizabeth’s best friend. We’re guided to be shocked at the proposal. The friendship is broken.

p.155. difficult for professor to assign sentence to narrator or Elizabeth. They’re fused. They’re lined up in the verdict on Charlotte. Gives the assessment especial authority. “was a most humiliating picture”: for who? Not charlotte, who doesn’t care.
“tolerably” : Elizabeth and narrator say this is not tolerable, in spite of how Charlotte conceives it.

3-18-10. ‘I make no scruple to aver, that a correspondence by letters, written on occasions of necessary absence, and which leaves a higher joy still in hope, which presence takes away, gives the most desirable opportunities of displaying the force of friendship that can be wished for by a friendly heart. This correspondence is, indeed, the cement of friendship: it is friendship avowed under hand and seal: friendship upon bond, as I may say: more pure, yet more ardent, and less broken in upon, than personal conversation can be even amongst the most pure, because of the deliberation it allows, from the very preparation to, and action of writing… Who then shall decline the converse of the pen? The pen that makes distance, presence; and brings back to sweet remembrance all the delights of presence; which makes even presence but body, while absence becomes the soul. (Samuel Richardson to Sophia Westcomb, 1746)

‘The letter-writer should cultivate an expressive, genteel, and easy manner. Set discourses require a dignity or formality of style suitable to the subject; whereas letter-writing rejects all pomp of words, and is most agreeable when most familiar. But, though lofty phrases are here improper, the style must not therefore sink into meanness: and to prevent its doing so, an easy complaisance, an open sincerity, and unaffected good-nature, should appear in every place. A letter should wear an honest, cheerful countenance, like one who truly esteems, and is glad to see his friend; and not look like a fop admiring his own dress, and seemingly pleased with nothing but himself. / What I have said of the style of your letters, is intended as a direction for your conversation also, of which your care is necessary, as well as of your writing. (Robert Dodsley, The Preceptor, 1775)

Handout: letter from Richardson to a friend. Letter writing allows us to think carefully about all the really nice things we want to say to our friends, to underscore our friendship.

Then from The Preceptor, extremely influential didactic treatise. : style of letters should be informal and lacking in pomp and fun, but never mean.

1) “authentic communication is achieved through stylization.” Different from us. We think impromtu is the most authentic. VERY IMPORTANT DIFFERENCE. Degree of care, nature methodized, application of art to nature. The culture in which jane austen grew up. the importance of choice, thought, care. Good speaking and writing.

Social performance, 2) discourse, and 3) letter writing: one should attempt to steer a middle course between the ostentatiously elegant/artful, and the sloppy. *

The familiar letter,… is both more pure and ardent than personal conversation. The letter makes distance presence = central paradox.

This extends even down into the lower classes. Tremendous appetite in this period. Manuals for people even with grade school educations. The germ of richard’s Pamela is the model letters he wrote as examples for the under classes.

With this 18th c. conception of letter writing as a point of reference, how can we assess the letter writers in PP? Who are the good letter writers. Darcy corresponds frequently with sister. He takes care in his expression. Jane. Resemblance between the way jane talks and writes, which is a good thing. Mrs. Gardiner. Jane. These are all people who 1) create presence through absence, are 2) faithful, 3) write substantive letters. … and 4) ? look in handout. Something to do with ease.

Bad: Lydia: self-centered. Elopement letter. Quick and sloppy. Resemblance between the way Lydia talks and writes = bad thing. Miss Bingley she’s impressing her goals and ambitions, admiring. Mr Collins. Collins and bingley both can express themselves fluently. Bingley writes principally in order to deceive or wound. They are not real windows, nor do they try and create positive connections. They’re intended to dump jane. “Letter writing should reject all pomp of words” = what Collins does not do. Also, his last letter is quite vicious. Mr. Bennet. he’s a hermit crab. He’s turned his library into a shell which he carries around him. He’s given up on relationships, can’t summon the energy or sense of responsibility to correspond. The letters he writes is pathetically inadequate. They’re over distilled. Under duress, he is prompted to write. But it’s bare. Elizabeth is his favorite daughter, and he can barely be brought to write her.

We have to take it on faith that charlotte and eliz are friends, because we never see what good qualities drew eliz to her.

Part of what brings liz and darcy together is that they’re yin yang. Mr Bennett warns eliz about marrying darcy because he thinks she doesn’t respect darcy. Mr. Bennet’s own marriage is

Irony is stale, dried up, dessicated. Elizabeth is not, but she could well turn into a female version. Just as mr darcy could turn into pompous Lady Catherine, his aunt. Therefore the marriage seems like salvation for them, because the best version of firmness of Darcy, and Elizabeth’s playful wit, can be intertwined. Mr. Darcy can’t yet tolerate being laughed at, but he’ll grow into it.

The way people write letters is an excellent way of indexing their characters.

380. what makes this a good letter? “I am happier even than jane. She only smiles, I laugh.” Absence presence through a sense of the strong speaking voice of Elizabeth. She has a considerable repoirtoire. She speaks with spirit and flow. Some to syntax, (from complex to crisp and declariative), some from diction, (witty variation… from funny big words to colloquial.) It expresses deep emotion but not in any pathetic way. Carefully considered but comes across as delightfully spontaneous.

304. Collins. Opposite from eliz’s. condemning Mr. Bennett’s daughter. This is a letter of condolence. But it doesn’t. condemns Lydia. real purpose: thank god I didn’t marry Elizabeth and I’m not therefore related to you. Under the guise of sympathy, he’s twisting the letter in. it’s not a personal correspondence, it’s a confirmation that we’ve all been talking about this, and I’ve spread it around. You and your families are pariahs now. Fault: Stylistically: presents itself as a familiar letter but it is a sermon. It’s a chilling parody of the Prodigal Son, … the father celebrates the prodigal son when he comes back. Collins inverts the parable. Suggests that loving forgiveness, and exultation in the return of a child, this child should be outcast. Amazing, coming from the context of a clergyman. Pushes the comic envelope very far.

226. Response to a letter. Turning point of the book, comes in the middle. Elizabeth’s first reaction is to repudiate. But she makes herself re-read it, = quite courageous. Letter functions a mirror. Scene of the acquisition of self-knowledge by a prolongued gaze in the mirror (famous in art.) produces mortification. Combination of shame and regret and embarrassment. The regret begins to produce the alternation. Here it has transformative. Mortification in lent, whip themselves. pain produces spiritual benefit. Mortification is a therapeutic state.

She’s humiliated. Knows she brought it on herself, it’s justified. The language is very very carefully balanced in clauses. Johnsonian. Judicial. A mark of her transformation. There’s an echo of the Astronomer chapter from Rasselas.

Till this moment I never knew myself. Darcy’s letter: [student’s comment] the preamble (1st paragraph) prepares her to absorb the longer paragraph. What does the experience of reading the long letter compels her to revisit key scenes. Almost cinematic. Perspective is different. A measure of Elizabeth’s newly achieved maturity that she’s prepared to discipline herself to replay these scenes from the perspective of mr Darcy, e.g. how the family had conspired to make fools of themselves at the netherfield ball; also, reassess the relationship with wickem. (she who prides herself on her judgement of people, has formed a wrong impression of wickem because he was handsome, and because he flirted with her.)

The best book on Austen criticism. Some words of jane austen. Stewart Tave.
Describes the culpable moment for Mr. Darcy, says that the hero and heroine undergo paired moments of mortification. It’s a precondition for their union. But we don’t really learn about Darcy’s mortification till the late stages of the book .

367. – 369. Their first shared act as an engaged couple is a literary critical act, share analyzing a text. Further reviewing the ways in which they are deeply suited.
What darcy says of himself: pride and conceit. (echo elizabeth’s pride and prejudice.) (this doesn’t chime with what the housekeeper says of them? –it can be made to harmonize. Darcy is a master in his own domain, and a nice guy within it; but Darcy says that outside of his family domain, not a great guy.) part of darcy’s problem is a version of jane’s problem = the authentic self hasn’t found a way of projecting itself so that it can be read correctly in outside world.

This moment strains our credulity. We too have been misunderstanding darcy. For most than half the book we have thought of darcy as an anti-hero. Now austen shows us different.

197. interesting little bit. Sprit and flow. 199. we neither of us perform to strangers. Darcy and Elizabeth. Col Fitzwilliam is affectionately criticizing darcy. ‘talent’ can be developed. Take responsibility. Differences and similarities between Elizabeth and Darcy.

Elizabeth’s bad piano playing is actually socially likeable. Mary’s practiced performances are good, but therefore awkward in a way. What do we do to amuse ourselves. After dinner men have brandy and cigars. Ladies thereafter entertain men by playing piano and singing. If a man is really good at music, he can do duets on the piano with women, or sing with/for them. (the only times you could touch a man was when you did a duet on the piano or danced with him.) women were trained to entertain men.

Passage prepares both of them for the coming together that we’ve been tracing towards the end of the book.

Landscape: the creation, cultivation and interpretation.One for each volume of book. Longbourn, Rosings, and Pemberly. Values associated with each. Reflect and create behavior. Why eliz’s coming to pemberly is a necessary precondition for her coming to darcy.

3-23-10. Alexander Pope. Triptych. Connections between aesthetics and ethics 18th c architecture. One of best know poems by Pope. Young jane austen would have read and memorized.

3 volume format to highlight 3 different : v1 Longbourn, v2 Rosings, v3 Pemberley

handout: pope: this is how you should construct the ideal countryhouse. The gendered language: nature and buildings are talked about like women: how much to dress.

Pygmalion-like creation. Dressing of, so as to half conceal, half reveal her charms. Neither ignore/conceal, nor completely strip nature bare.

Alexander Pope, Moral Essays: Epistle to Burlington, lines 47-64.

To build, to plant, whatever you intend,
To rear the Column, or the Arch to bend,
To swell the Terras, or to sink the Grot;
In all, let Nature never be forgot.
But treat the Goddess like a modest fair,
Nor over-dress, nor leave her wholly bare;
Let not each beauty ev’ry where by spy’d,
Where half the skill is decently to hide.
He gains all points, who pleasingly confounds,
Surprises, varies, and conceals the Bounds.
Consult the Genius of the Place in all;
That tells the Waters or to rise, or fall,
Or helps th’ ambitious Hill the heav’n to scale,
Or scoops in circling theatres the Vale,
Calls in the Country, catches opening glades,
Joins willing woods, and varies shades form shades,
Now breaks or now directs, th’ intending Lines;
Paints as you plant, and, as you work, designs.
Key line to understanding PP, : Consult the Genius in the Place of all; The project of the architect is collaboration between abstract, semi-religious figure of the place (genius loci.) spirit of the place. Something of the ancient pagan roman sense of the numinous. Quasi-mystical notion. Before architect intervenes on the landscape, consult the beauty of the place, try and keep work in line with the genius.

3 volume structure. Triptych. Painting in three panels. Religious painting. Three subjects treated individually but linked. (jane wasn’t working consciously with this, but she had a deeply cultivated visual imagination, and was well read in Pope’s theories. Her presentation of houses and gardens, in Mansfield Park, is very sophisticated. Links characters and their ethical issues with very precise garden features. Closest descendent of this is Henry James.)

three panels. Volume 2 begins with a trip to Rosings. Vol 3 begins even more emphatically with the discovery of pemberly. (highlights the importance of place.)

who is the genius loci of longbourn?

How to understand character as a reflection of place. Longborn. = no privacy. (except privacy in the library.) (except when mrs bennet busts in to tell liz to marry Collins.) each bennet daughter doesn’t have her own room. No place Elizabeth or jane can call their own.

Common in England to name houses, even small houses. Not necessarily pompous. (to the English.)

The lack of decorum in longbourn, and of peaceful rituals, reflects the values of Mrs. Bennett. (Mr. B has forsaken responsibility for the house: he actually enjoys sometimes instigating chaos of his wife.)

The characteristics of Rosings. Manicured. Very formal late 17th c French style, highly geometric, highly artificial. Shrubs not in the natural English style, serpentine; rather all right angles. Elizab can see people approaching. The house is grand formal elegant, but without true elegance, because without comfort. It’s all about the performance of grandeur and superiority.

Pemberly. 259. natural looking, grand. She had never seen a place more in synch with nature but grand. (we might, cynically, that she’s a gold digger, now that she sees the house of her boyfriend, she understands that she really wants to pursue him. Pg. 372. I felt strongly for him when I saw Pemberley. Pemberly has been interfered with by a man whose specialty was making nature seem more natural. Bulldozers, spend a lot of money, but the end result must seem as if there was little to no manipulation. (the rhetoric of plastic surgery. = give yourself the nose you were meant to have, bring out the latent beauty of your body. The rhetoric is not: you’re ugly and you need to change.) Pemberley!

The key attribute: that there’s no artificial appearance. Guided by Alexander pope-like aesthetic for consulting the genius of the place.

Language is constantly pushing towards the ethical. Adjectives that are explicitly aesthetic have an ethical undertone. “it was neither formal, nor falsely adorned.” Like Darcy.

18th c idea. A person a of good taste is usually considered to be a person of good judgement. Good character. Taste is a reflection of judgment. The judgment of mr darcy is being validated through the taste of mr darcy.

Next few pages, a literal and emotional journey: liz moves through the public, through concentric circles, to the nucleus of the house, a portrait of darcy, and her moment of conversion is a moment of communion with the portrait. Epistolary rhetoric. Absence becomes a pure form of presence. She fixes her gaze, studies his face, in a way that wouldn’t be possible in person, assesses his character.

260. good disposition of the hill, and Darcy. Great writing. Elegance. (key word in austen.) Describes exterior qualities and habits of mind and even of heart.

262. housekeeper’s description is opposite of what she thought of darcy. He’s nice.

Every English country house of the period had at least one room where family portraits were clustered and displayed.

263. conversion moment. There’s a very interesting syntactical ambiguity in this sentence. This moment does when austen does what she’s not inclined to do as a writer. (there is no more precise and lucid writer in English than austen.) this should invite our scrutiny. What’s the subject of the verb ‘fixed’ on 264? She or he? The pronoun he is actually closest to the verb. Is darcy there? Why introduce any doubt? How can a living person ‘fix’ a portraits eyes on herself?

(If you doubt that jane austen revises intensely and works with ambiguity, compare the two endings of persuasion.)

She wants this to be a moment of mutuality, of reciprocity. This is the only way it can happen, because minutes later the real darcy comes, and they can’t interlock gazes. The next moment after that, is in the end of the novel, when he proposes.

Portrait moment is a moment where he’s unmasked. She gets to see and study the private darcy; he’s been trained since boyhood to play a public, mask role which is counter to his real self.

She’s been prepared for the encounter with his portrait with her encounter with his landscape.

266. Elizabeth has learned to explore its windings. What have we learned about pemberly from this description. Large but subtle. It is the perfect microcosm, ancient idea of the estate as retreat and reflection of the character of its owner. You’re constantly be delighted and surpising. Both Darcy and landscape have cool features she hadn’t anticipated.

By the end of the novel, pemberley brings and keeps Liz and Darcy together. Ultimately the emblem of their marriage.

Trout stream. Full of fish. Darcy invites gardiner to go fishing with him. Fertility. Invitation also statles and gratifies liz, she didn’t think darcy was nice like that, or not classist.

278. architect has made sure that northern exposure keeps summer gatherings of ladies cool at the saloon. Saloon has also been given a refreshing exterior view, windows of trees scattered (because actually placed). Closest to house is lawn, then as the hill rises, trees arranged. Variety of different kinds of trees. Order in variety in constant balance. This aesthetic extends right through to the food that’s served. Homegrown produce. Pemberley estate.

The fruit has been gathered, collected, and arranged. Not just thrown on the table. Arranged in pyramids. Art and nature in balance. This arrangement of fruit results in ladies arranging themselves around the table. Eden.

Post- lapsarian. Pre-lapsarian. (Milton’s word.) pemberley is pre-lapsarian. The ideal country house is designed to evoke garden of eden before the fall. (this is not a religious book. But, there are some religious aspects. Mrs Bingley is a snake extending to expel Eliz from Eden. She wants to be Mrs. Darcy.)

Eliz and Darcy’s relationship: they would never had come together and stayed unless Eliz came to Pemberley. There’s a sense of a little microcosmic retreat, fortress, Pemberley, can protect themselves from disruptive other people. eg:

381. mrs. Philips. Elegance. = much richer term than the way we use it.

One reason why PP tends to be the most favorite: it has a hero and a heroine, in whose happiness we are invested. The ending has a fairy tale quality. (they can only ever live happily ever after because of Pemberley).

Mutuality, reciprocity.

Dark handsome mysterious. Mr Darcy is hot. They bring out the best in people around them. She brings out the best in darcy’s sister. He brings out the best in kitty. Bingley, jane. Darcy is graceful, doesn’t judge Eliz’s lower class families. Why is Orville vanilla pudding and Darcy curry? Great sexual tension. Harry met sally. First they fight, then they love. The quarrelsome couple whose quarrels are rooted in desire. Much Ado About Nothing. Beatrice and Benedict. Hollywood comedies of the 30s, cath kepburn. Wit, sparring, sexual attraction. Darcy’s confidence; and YET he’s willing to change himself because of Eliz’s criticism. He is ardent yet self-pitying. Unique male character: she ‘flushes’ out the badboy side in the first part of the novel, with the sweet side (rescuing Lydia). Energy. Romantic and sexual desire. Esteem. This character is designed as a complement to and contrast with Elizabeth.

Heroine is flawed yet we really admire and identify with her. They’ve had their paired moments of mortification.

3-25-10. Mimesis (mime- ee- sis) Aristotle’s poetics. Discussion of tragedy. Representation. Or, literally, imitation. Mimetic. (mim – eh- tic).

Theater is the quintessential mimetic form. It represent. Sometimes it pretends to be as if we’re looking through a window at the action. Some (brecht) anti-mimetic, highlights the fiction of the play.

Diegesis (die- eh- jee- sis) something related or reported or narrated, not something represented. Mimesis and diegesis are not strictly mutually exclusive, but for our purposes they’re different.

199. notion of conversation as performance. Good conversation involves technique. We neither of us perform to strangers. At this moment, the words perform and performance drop out of the novel. (they’ve been used a lot before). Also, strategy of novel changes from mimetic to diegetic. Why? Why now more reflective, less performative. The diagetic method is necessary as the novel begins to move inward and explores subjectivity, the non-performative aspects of Darcy and Eliz.

In drama, mimesis really only shows you who a character is in the context of social behavior. (except maybe in soliloquy).

First half of novel is made up of a lot of balls and social gatherings, second half is made up of letters. Epistle allows austen to explore the interior lives of the characters as talking socially cannot.

We do return to mimesis in the closing stages of the novel. (novel begins in brilliantly mimetic playlet of mr. and mrs. bennet; ends in brilliant playlet with lady Catherine Elizabeth confrontation). Why? Why does Austen have to do this?

As a character, Catherine manifests herself exclusively through the mimetic. She seems not to exist apart from the social stage upon which she performs her social superiority. the performance needs an audience. Even in Elizabeth?
Shrubbery- concealed. Hermitage. Funny, because there is no one less a hermit than Lady Catherine. This stage like setting is the only setting Catherine can imagine. Funny. The one bit at longbourn that has some privacy, called a hermitage, pretends to a medieval cell of a monk.

Good summer job for a college student, go live in the hermitage, dress up as a hermit. People visit and watch you. Austen is taking advantage of one of landscape features of her time, and using it in a sly way.

354. fight between Catherine and eliza. Has the character of a debate. Idiolect.

Possible essay question: examine the idiolect of a bunch of undefined
Catherine: rhetorical questions. , dogmatic assertion (her opinions of the world must be true.) abusive catalogue. Pleonasm (make the same point in slightly different words repeatedly). Ejaculation.

Elizabeth holds her own, and therefore triumphs, because catherine’s object was to crush her will.

Elizabeth is analytical as opposed to assertive, and selective as opposed to answering everything. Also, be emotionally controlled as opposed to getting crazier and crazier like Catherine.

What Catherine brings to conversation is a fantasy about her daughter and darcy. No basis in reality. Eliz asks her to examine the degree to which the fantasy is improbable.

Johnsonian syntax. 358. She keeps control of her own idolect. The fatal mistake would have been to start speaking catherine’s language. Then if Catherine could remake eliz in her own image, battle won.
Idiolect preserves privacy and autonomy, which cath are attacking, rhetorically and explicitely.

Eliz takes a few words from cath’s idolect, and reframes them. Preserves her sense of self. Lady cath is reduced to insults. Her final expression of dissatisfaction is extremely vulnerable to ‘so what’. Fail.

Eliz doesn’t make declarations about her feelings for darcy because it would give up the privacy that Catherine is trying to attack.

Delicious irony: catherine’s report is precisely what emboldens darcy.

482. review isn’t convinced by shift in darcy. (essay?)
the key moment for assessment is his declaration to Elizabeth on 368. My reaction to this determines my reaction to darcy. For professor, transformation is credible because:
darcy’s response to the gardeners = he has recalibrated the rigid social hierarchy.

Narrative method: (first under her control in PP) center of consciousness, female protagonist as. Eliz is not always the center of consciousness, or infalliable. The narrator has affectionate admiration for Eliz, but is also capable of exposing her flaws, but narrator never undermines our basic affection for eliz.

Austen puts this to test in emma, creating a protagonist who only she can love.

Eliz is wrong about wickam, but right about Catherine and Collins. So we trust her judgment.

There can’t be a center of consciousness in an epistorlary novel. But PP, center is critical to transformation of darcy, believing it.

487. doctrine of matrimony. Mercenary (charlotte’s getting Collins.) versus prudent (prudentia – the ability to distinguish between good and evil. Later, economic.)

austen sidesteps the need to be explicit about prudence: she makes her heroines ultimately like dudes who are likeable and rich

Claudia Johnson (critic) thinks austen is not conservative, but a radical critiquer.

Why does Eliz refuse darcy the first time, hoping never to see him again? She thinks he screwed his sister over, and thinks he did it for really icky, snobby reasons. Plus, the proposal is : “I’m gonna ignore your low-class and propose to you.”

Every novel austen, courtship novel, seems to imply a system for a girl to make a judgment. 19th c critics thinks the author (not distinguished from narrator) is writing a conduct book. How to make a prudent decision.

But we’re prevented from ever conclusively deciding how we can make those decisions (professor’s opinion.)

Jane Austen in Context: Notes on Mansfield Park.

3-30-10. Page 3: opening paragraph. Money, a lot of exposition, and fairy-tale tone (once upon a time). we have the beginnings of a family tree. Miss Maria Ward, sister Miss Ward (must be eldest, by ‘Miss’), and, by implication, 3rd daughter, Miss Francis Ward.

In this world of quasi-commercial marriage arrangements, the relation between man’s fortune and woman’s dowry, is important. Sometimes discrepancy. Maria is extraordinarily lucky. Beauty compensates for $.

Maria marries Sir Thomas Bertram. Six years go by, and her older sister finds herself be obliged to be attached to reverend. Professor fascinated by Mrs. Norris, dark fascinating character in Austen. Motives? Behavior? She comes to us in the early pages of the book as a fairy tale evil step mother. Coleridge: ‘motiveless malignity’. Here at the beginning we accept malignity as a given. A term. She’s affronted by the fact that her more beautiful younger sister marries better, and she marries someone she’s obliged to marry. Her brother-in-law makes the match.

She becomes Mrs. Norris. We never learn Mrs. Norris’s first name. Reverend Norris is given the substantial living at Mansfield.

Francis Ward marries to disoblige her family. Imprudent. Narrator presents it to us in a critical tone. We know that, immediately upon marrying, Mrs Price (ward) begins to have babies at a rapid pace. 9 kids 11 years. Shotgun marriage? She’s exhausted and close to indigence.

11 kids, we only know names of oldest two. William and francis (fanny). 2 Marys. 2 francis… why double?

Maria ward’s kids: Tom12 , Edmund 16, Maria13 , Julia 12. Symbolic topography = architecture and landscape are major vehicles for the instillation of commentary.

Fanny 10 is put in the little white attic, next to the maid’s room. She’s not been given a maid of her own. She’s put near the maids so they can tend to her in between their real duties to the family.

She’s on the architectural (and social) margins. These characters are among the most interesting.

Fanny is not brought to family in order to be a bride for one of her cousins. That would be social devolution. Miss Francis Ward (has already plunged, therefore her kids take rank of husband. Kids are low.)

Fanny becomes the favorite of Edmund. Finds her one day crying on the back-stairs. Servant stairs. the result is that fanny becomes a sort of protégé of cousin; he superintends her education. (everyone ignores or manipulates her; she’s stupid and/or a servant). Fanny falls silently and completely in love. The significance of the secret and the need to keep it silent develops. 6 years pass. Engagement of Maria to Mr. Rushworth.

27. ironic blend of free indirect speech with narrative commentary. We realize mrs Norris thinks of herself as most enegetic capable responsible member of house. Hubby is absent in Anguila. He’s an absent father, emotionally. And physically. The evil stepmother (lady bertrum is vacuous, only sits on couch with dog.) it all depends on mrs Norris.

Vanity was in such good order that they seem to be quite free from it. Nature vs nurture. Mrs Norris has formed these girls. the narrator makes it clear that mrs Norris has given them no humility, sense of moral being, religion. They are purely purely performative creatures. Their sense and sensibility, interior is neglected. They’ve been raised to think they can do no wrong. They have not a modicum of self-doubt, chilling. They are completely unaware of what we’re beginning to discern of them—their compelete ethical void and complete sense of entitlement. They deserve the best because they are the best. Why do they welcome mary? Because as a physical type they are different. No social threat to the two sisters. Because they’re perfectly vain, they wouldn’t fear competition.
Vanity is so complete and systemic, indemic, that there’s no surface manifestation of it. The technique of a great singer = able to perform vocally, devote herself to her communication with the audience, because she’s got the technique down flat.

Should be artless, or seem artless, even though they’re artful.

Into this social field, wanders Mr Rushworth. 30. (fancied himself in love.) like Collins. Narrator is judging. Obligation. Duty. Sir Thomas is happy about the engagement—he has no knowledge of the character of his future son-in-law. Why? Because land is the basis of political power, and Rushworth’s land is adjoining.

This is the background for what Professor wants to explore today. This is a society in which families marry families. why doe they visit Southerton?

In the late 18th, early 19th, really popular architect, Humphry Repton, hired by gentry to re-do their lands. (aesthetic is close to the aesthetic of Pemberly, making nature closer to itself). His sales strategy = he prepared watercolor designs, then he would prepare a redbook = watercolors with overlays with before and after.

Mr Rushworth has been visiting a friend whose lands have been improved this way. He thinks he needs to improve southerton. Then begins a series of converstations. Henry is brought forward as a skilled amateur improver (free, as friend of family). The problem is, that according to the aesthetics, the house and grounds pose a real problem: the house is Elizabethan, and at the bottom of the hill, not the top. There are formal gardens (not a good thing) and a long avenue of oak trees (bad, need to eliminate). Conversations about the aestheics of landscape start to develop a moral dimension. Edmund and Fanny are opposed to chopping beautiful old oak trees. Edmund says improvements should be gradual, not all at once. Mary and Henry have a different take on improvement = they begin to play out the possibility of improving socially, sexually, professionally. Mary wants to improve edmund’s ambition to become a priest. She wants him to become a lawyer. Henry is operating on two fronts: simultaneously on Julia and Maria.

What is henry like and what’s he up to? He’s a player. He flirts ardently and simultaneously with both sisters, one of whom is engaged. Lovelace is a model for certain aspects of henry. He is a sportsman with women. It’s fun to bag multiple pheasants. It’s particularly fun to set sisters against each others. Both sisters are waiting to see which one will be asked to sit on carriage. He picks Julia, but then later pretends he’s not into her, more interested in Maria (who is engaged).

35. narrator artfully combines free indirect speech, quotation, overt author comment. ‘she did not want to see or understand.’

Handout: Nabokov. Born before French revolution, air to great land and estates. We have a series of lectures he gave in 1950s at Cornell on greatest English novels. bleak house. Middlemarch. Mansfield park (his favorite). This is his sketch. To understand what’s going on subtextually, you have to understand what’s going on in terms of moments. First to the chapel.

Henry Crawford: witty, disruptive, and ambiguous speech. They separate in three parties. Two main groups: fanny, mary, Edmund; Mr Rush, Henry, Maria. They go out into formal garden, cross green, discover gate, go through to wilderness (moral. Where characters lose bearings). Fanny Edmund and mary go wandering through serpentine paths. First they talk about law and priesthood. Mary says to Edmund that park is bigger than he thinks. She’s the temptress, snake in the garden. By the end of the book she’s a Siren. She happens to have many physical social attributes of Elizabeth Bennet. Within the space of a year, Austen takes her heroine Liz and turns her into a villain.

Mary steers Edmund off the straight path, into the jungle; fanny is abandoned for an hour, then joined by the other group, who is supposed to be going out into the park to find a hill from which to look around and make blueprint; but a locked gate and ditch (called a ha-ha) … innovation in landscape design, create an enclosure or fence without seeming to have done so. You look out window, land seems unbroken. Ditch to keep sheep away from flowers. Usually lined with stones. Ha –ha, gate adjoining… rush goes to get key, in his absence, henry and maria have a very interesting conversation.

Fanny doesn’t have much physical stamina. 45 minutes of labor prostrates her. Knocked-up means physically depleted. Mary is full of pep and vim.

78. interesting conversation. It’s as if the narrator were designing scene for English majors. Do you mean literally or figuratively? We’re meant to understand this on two separate levels. They’re really talking about her perspective marriage to Rushworth, and whether she’ll be happy. She’s saying ‘I can’t get out’, caged bird. (reference to Sterne’s A Sentimental Journey). Also Lovelace. The woman is inviting the man who might be her savior from Rush to understand that she’s trapped. Literal: whether they should wait for the fiancé to return and continue control, or whether they should leave.

Perfect henry Crawford move: inflammatory, ambiguous, non-commital, witty. He’s not making any promises: ideal preparation for when the father returns, knocks on gate, … interrupts henry and her in their 27th unnecessary rehearsal of love-scene in play.

Note: Volume 1, chapter 9 of Mansfield park. Important.

4-1-10. Theatricality and anti-theatricality of Mansfield park. Guests amused themselves by putting on play. The play here is “the primary intertext”. In English, called Lover’s Bows. (title in German translates to love-child =bastard). Young protagonist, Fredrick, discovers he’s illegitimate son of baron. He persuades dad to make an honest woman of his mother by marrying. 2ndary plot: courtship of young clergyman and daughter (legitimate) of baron.

Bx and character are toned down in English = forward, aggressive woman is toned down in English. Amelia takes the initiative in wooing the clergyman. She makes love to him. (She makes her romantic feelings known to him.)

Great achievement of Mansfield park = we don’t need to know that much about the play. But a little background helps.

Frivolous visitor, Yates. In the absence of the Father of Mansfield Park. Yates wants play, Tom, Maria and Julia. Mary. Henry. … all want to have fun with the play. These more performative and theatrical characters. The characters who are endowed with a more complex interior lives, and less socially adept, Edmund and Fanny, don’t want play.

The two elders who are supposed to intervene (Lady Bertram does nothing) and Mrs Norris, a black hole ethically speaking, becomes an enabler.

Argument Edmund against Tom : … it’s important to recreate the context, otherwise it seems that Austen is making much ado about nothing. The novel helps us to understand why what seems to benign is toxic and corrupting. Metaphor of infection (rage for acting, disease. Invades even the one space that should be immune, Fanny’s room.) Did Melville have Fanny in mind with Bartelby? By the end of Volume 1 even Fanny is about to succumb.

Julia is pissed because she doesn’t get to play opposite Henry. So Julia becomes antagonistic and detached. So Henry focuses on Maria. He has no intention however from saving Maria from her fiancé.

Conversations about the physical and special of the house, become as symbolically significant as questions of design of the park.

97. henry and maria are playing son and mother, but its erotic. 98. Edmund is using hyperbole to try and startle his friends into common sense… go big or go home. Well, they can’t reasonably go big.

Tom Bertrum is the oldest son, has more authority than Edmund. Overrules Edmund. We’re doing the play.

Edmund is saying: 1) this is low class. 2) you guys aren’t even good at it anyway, you’d screw it up.

This play is indecorous, and it mirrors. Whereby the characters and their current situations are reflected.

Why does Edmund agree to the play? Fanny is aghast. Edmund does not know himself here. He tells fanny that his reason for okaying… is we don’t want to bring outsiders in to put on the play. The real reason is to respond to pressure to mary, and the opportunity to bond (mary) in rehearsal.

A certain kind of theatrical simulation can lead to a certain kind of ethical confusion. There’s something about the wearing of a mask and performing a role, particularly when they’re related to choices YOU are making, that create at the very least ambiguity; ambiguity has a certain dangerous charge to it.

98. Hand out # 2, another Nabokov. Billiard room turned into theater, music room and father’s study turned into dressing room and green room. This is a point easy to miss. (green room is the place where you go in between the scenes in which you act. You may well spend a lot of time there. It’s also the place in the 18th 19th c where gentlemen interested in actresses came to flirt. 2 troubling associations; 1) you’re in an intermediate zone between your real self and your performative self. 2) also a place where you pick up zone. Both associations are radically different from the Locus and Focus of authority order decorum regulation fixed roles established rituals. No more anti-performative location imaginable than the study of the head of the household. Sir thomas’s reaction is comical and significant:

the benign space of play, the billiard room (undangerous, establish rituals of country house) but where women DON’T go… is turned into a space for ladies too. Social and ethical significance of these changes.

Their plans for the play and the construction of a theatre grow more elaborate. Mrs Norris is the perfect enabler.

Perhaps the most important argument between tom and Edmund, comes:100. His house shall not be hurt. What is tom saying here to his brother? He’s saying, basically, it’s about to be my house, fucker. I certainly have an interest in protecting the house. Tom ends up being wrong. The father is pissed when he comes back. Is tom lying when he tells this to Edmund, that they shouldn’t be worried, that he’s not worried? Probably not, he’s just a short-term-calculator, and interested in gratification. He has almost to die in order to change.

Edmund’s response is fascinating: the innovation, if not wrong as an innovation, will be wrong as an expense. Political implications—fears of political rebellion, taking up napolean’s cause. Innovation is word for revolutionary. The period is profoundly conservative.
Edmund is using innovation like he used improvement (of landscape) : you don’t improve or innovate in one fell swoop, gotta be slow and careful, studying the effects of the small changes you’re making. The whole question of performing this play at this time in this space brings back memory of making radical changes in the garden. Responses are the same to innovation in the house as to improvement. But Edmund goes over to the other side because of Siren call of performative Mary Crawford.

Mr Yates plays the role he wanted at Raven’s Croft, the Baron. He gets a large, highly rhetorical role with a lot of lines. Henry and Maria get to pursue their intense but ambiguous romantic relationship by getting to endlessly rehearse bastard son/mom role. Mary gets to make love to Ed under the cover of rehearsing the Anholt/Amelia scenes; Fanny gets emotionally crucified at having to make them better at their parts, help rehearse. Edmund is about to take holy orders, and yet at the saem time he’s performing the role of priest; relationship between the two get confused. (you’d think his identity would be consolidated, by being self-consciously a priest) but no. Mary is actually prosecuting her campaign to get Edmund to break his vows, in order to pursue a career she thinks acceptable for marriage, say Lawyer. Performativity is deeply unsettling.

Lover’s Vows. The title of the play starts to relate to the vow Maria took to marry, which is being undone; it relates to the vows marriage between mary and Edmund, (which can only exist if he breaks the vows he is making to become a priest).

Why is fanny about to give in? she’s accused of ingratitude. The accusation is so unfair and disturbing to her (her whole life has been the authentic performance of gratitude) that she feels she must refute this by participating.

Fanny’s room as the one space in the house that repels the theatrical. It’s radically authentic, no role-playing, no pretence. There’s no fireplace—Mrs Norris, sadist, wont let there be a fireplace--. It’s the one place fanny can close the door, call her own, it’s the one private space she’s ever had, that’s why she stays there. It’s a sort of womb; its adornments are very significant. Gifts, e.g. a drawing of a ship by her brother, and plants, (the nature culture contrast in the novel is also interesting. Mary Crawford could care less about stargazing and cutting the roses. )

(The harp is a very good prop of seduction for a woman—play with bare arms, make elegant movements. Sufficiently unusual because most ladies learn to play the piano forte. She invites ed to come hear her play. )

Fanny loves to star gaze, with edmund. Fanny brings nature indoors, creates a little greenhose for herself in her room. Modest possessions that remind her of her most cherished human relationships. She’s very charitably minded, she’s a reader (as mary is not) and we learn what she reads—she doesn’t read novels, she reads books of travel, moral essays by Johnson, and not Byron, but Crabbe. (poetic tales, stories of rural life with very clear moral content.) every aspect of her room speaks of her character and values.

She comes to room because her one ally has gone over to the other side, needs to be by herself.

People are rehearsing all over the house. No calm. Dad comes back. Comic but serious. Sir Thomas walks through his door to discover himself not in billiard room but on stage.

142. sir Thomas comes home. Éclat (a bursting forth. a good buzz.) the house would close with éclat. The theater is ending with a positive reputation attached. The house is Mansfield park. Theatrical term applied to architectural term. The house almost closes, but not with éclat, rather than with disaster, because the play has a prophetic significance. Maria commits open adultery with henry, brings something close to open ruination to the house. Fanny is the savior of the house. Joke : sir Thomas making his first appearance. The comedy here (farcical. Patriarch comes on stage, Yates is startled, better, more authentic reaction than any acting he can do.)

our understanding is deepened: maria’s decision to move forward with marriage to rushworth. Austen, for a moment, makes maria center of consciousness. 158. she was prepared for marriage. Tone? The sentence may paraphrase certain aspects of maria’s thoughts and words, but it is the voice of the narrator.
She’s entering into marriage with three motivations: 1) determination to make sure henry never knows how much he hurt her 2) escape dad 3) marry guy who can give her $ to enact a self exclusively performative.

Dark reingagement with henry that produces disaster and exile, only companion is mrs Norris, the closest thing that austen gives us to hell.

First cousins to marry—Anglican consanguinity. Requires a dispensation. But there were many cousins marriages. And uncles nieces marriages.

4-6-10. Three worlds of Mansfield Park: 1) London, 2) Portsmouth, 3) Mansfield Park. (4th world, Antigua. Said. Money funding Mansfield comes from Antigua, though the trade has been declared illegal… maybe that’s why Sir T goes to try and retain money.)

London Con: Henry and Mary, manipulative. London. Pro: (Fanny is completely dissociated with London, only passes through. Never spends time in it. This is significant.) Mary and Henry are London. Vibrant personalities. Liveliness is physical. Witty. Theatrical. Playful. Charismatic. (sophisticate, in the 18th 19th, meant to introduce needless complexities). They both speak with spirit and flow, like Elizabeth Bennet. The very characteristics Austen assigns to her previous heroine, become associated with negative characters. Damaged archangels—they still carry an aura of radiance.

This is perhaps Austen’s profoundest case study in the effects of education. Fanny is the pupil of Edmund. Marriage between teacher and prized pupil. Then the pupil becomes the teacher of the teacher. Fanny discerns almost from the beginning the problems with henry and mary. Mary is a charmer (in the negative sense), and almost charms away the good principles of Edmund. Mary and Henry are the anti-heroes. (The two characters in this novel, Mary and Maria, who bear the name Mary are ethically and sexually corrupt.)
Urbane. (suave cool hip.)

The pathology of the Crawfords. Early indications. 32. significant passage. Why doesn’t Mary choose to remain in the house with her uncle and her uncle’s girlfriend? Because it would impair her chances on the marriage market, because she would be living in a house where a mistress is the Head of Household. She fears social contamination. She goes to the country and renews her ties to her half-sister. Her proposal to henry is--- I gotta get out of here, why don’t I transfer to your county house. He says no. it would interfere with his own wishes—he doesn’t want to be tied down to a house with his sister.

Fixity and stability are associated with heroine. The opposite, the crawfords. They can’t settle. Novel weaves a series of deep connections between topography and moral topography (the shape of value and the shape of the good life, as the narrator helps us to understand.) 1st time we read this, we don’t notice; but the more we see Henry on the move, the more we see how much a Huck Finn, a leaver, a roamer.

Remember the adjective vicious. 32. Page 48. mary quoting in free indirect speech what she heard admirals say. 48. why is Edmund grave? Politest interpretation focus on vices—vice admirals are vicious in conduct. (vice-president, vice-president.) less polite, -- buggery. The ongoing issue is what Austen thought about it. Given the mores of the 2nd decade of the 19th century, would she have allowed herself to activate this pun buggery? We don’t know if ‘rear’ actually meant butt. Mary uses the word pun singular, but austen italicizes two words.

This conversation needs to take account of edmund’s final conversation with mary, where she’s figured as a Siren. Unambiguously.

Another marker of Mary’s nature: she finds it amusing that her brother is back in touch with maria. She takes pleasure that these two are back locked in a love-hate conflict.

Also, in a letter mary writes to fanny, she hints that it wouldn’t be a totally bad thing if tom died, because Edmund would be really bigtime marriage material, more than if he were just a clergyman. (johnson’s anatomy of the imagination. How easily it concocts a vicious scenario, like winning the lottery; these fantasies lead to evil.) Mary is not a villainess. She’s likable. She’s an anti-hero.

263-264. henry. Fascinating passage. What are we learning about henry and fanny in this scene? They could have been compatible. They have similar interests. He is sophisticated; she is not; but they are compatible. (Milton. Satanic attribute, satan has the ability to shape-shift, like Henry.) this is almost a kind of snake charming scene, in which, in spite of her defensive urge to block him out, fanny is charmed by henry.

The world of Mansfield park is much darker than the world of pride and prejudice. There’s more at stake.

Henry is versatile. Capable of turning rapidly. The many turns of henry, that make him most charismatic.

What if henry married fanny? She’s saved by the bell. She might have come to love henry. Thank goodness henry and maria re-engaged. What brings them together again? He is indifferent to her; she despises him.

When maria denies him, henry is not used to this. He’s now attracted to her. (she’s really into him, doesn’t really despise him, otherwise she wouldn’t have reacted so harshly.) his wounded vanity makes him go after her. Cassanova nacissist.

Mary isn’t so bothered by henry and maria; and that she isn’t, is really offensive to Edmund.

Henry is trying to woo fanny. He’s trying to soften her opposition. He doesn’t know what her chief defense is, that’s she’s in love with Edmund. He does find ways a little to penetrate her armor thought. The two men, after dinner, have separated from the ladies (Lady Bertrum and Fanny, reading), meet them. Henry feels, the book, feels exactly where her fingers have been resting. VERY INTIMATE. Somatic/body communication.

The ability to take on the voices, accents, psychology of all these different characters---seems safe to fanny. Doesn’t seem to be as subversive as his performances on the stage.

Back to the question of performance: 267. BCP. Is redundant. Henry is thinking about the liturgy as if its liturgy. The preacher should perform the liturgy. SERMONS, yay!

John Donne. John Donne. John Donne. Death’s Duel. One could spent half a semester, as the professor has done, studying the sermons. Actor---- the changes in sermons have a lot to do with the echo time in St. Paul’s.

Constancy. Constancy. 268. Where he lives, his love relationships, his imagined preaching schedule. Henry approaches preaching as a branch of performance. It’s as if we moved the theology major into the School of Communication. Don’t underestimate henry’s charm.

“Hers are faults of priniple, of blunted delicacy. Of corrupt and vitiated mind. (linked to vice and vicious)…” (unknown page. In chapter 16, volume 3.) used by Edmund to describe mary. To make less pure.

Portsmouth. 344. important passage. Back home. If I were to extract this paragraph for a midterm. The style here is proto-Dickensian. Associate with a high Victorian novelist. The flow of the sentence—it’s a catalogue. Descriptive catalogue. There’s a static quality as well as flow—static because we realize there’s the equivalence of a still-life. In a precise and sustained way, she’s creating a sense of place and therefore mood. Fanny now has mansfield values—elegance, ritual, calm, cleanliness. She now understands that she belongs in Mansfield. Here—the noise, there’s no calm, no privacy. A sense of entrapment, as if she’s been put in a prison. This passage stands almost alone in all of mature Austen. (henry James’s term) : solidity of specification. Normally, Austen is more attentive to choreography than interior decoration. This passage takes us into the compressed, oppressed heroine.

Con of Portsmouth. Dirt, disorder, noise, claustrophobia. Pro? … (well, not a great mother, not a great housekeeper. She’s indolent. It’s through those descriptions of indolence that we realize she’s got a lot in common with Lady Bertrum. Mrs price would have done well playing with her dog and doing nothing. But she hasn’t married that well.) interesting study of the effects of environment on character.
Fanny realizes her mother doesn’t care to try and understand who she has become. Fanny goes to Portsmouth ready to re-enter the family, but realizes that home is no longer Portsmouth. In a novel full of absent mothers (mrs Norris, etc., ) fanny comes into her own being both mother to her sister susan (who she brings to Mansfield), and the whole house of Mansfield, once she returns. She’s mother and head of house.

She’s the mother of a new generation. (final paragraph.)

4-8-10. Handout. Frank kermode’s term ‘ the sense of an ending’. This novel represents austen’s most sustained explanation of education.

359. Edmund talking to fanny (language deeply Johnsonian) saying he was in a fit of imagination, thinking that mary could have been a good person. Edmund is talking as patient and doctor (diagnosing his own malady, projection on Mary his fantasy of her. That picture has caused him to ignore or distort what fanny alone has been registering correctly. He has been inching his was toward fanny’s perception.)

Why does austen choose this scene—why not a direct dramatic theatrical, rather than a reported confrontation? Why do we only hear about mary but not see her.

Fanny has consistently doubled that narrator. Few instances where there’s an ironic difference. Fanny’s view of mary and henry isn’t permitted to be spoken in its full nature.

Primary novelistic justification: not as a dramatic revelation of mary’s conduct (cuz we don’t need that) the focus is on Edmund, who is the narrator and the filter. His gloss is the data he’s transmitting to fanny. Further justification is that fanny’s reaction to edmund’s reaction is crucial. Scene is double-framed. (fanny =interlocuter).

Narrator is trying to pack a lot of dialogue between ed and mary, into exposition. You could make this a screenplay, but you’d lose a lot.

360. mary mocks the clergy and church. Fully. She’s referring to evangelical religion—not gentlemen. ‘Testifying’ is not gentlemanly. She appears to have washed her hands of Ed, but not entirely. Siren. He sometimes still pines.

What can mary have in mind? Does she still think she can seduce him? Part of what makes mary more than a villainess is that she has some pro-social? Impulses. Maybe she’s calculating, but also ambivalent. The only way of getting him back would be to pretend to share his interpretation of religion; but she rather tries to seduce him.

Connection between eliz and mary. Arch and saucy and playful. Demonized in Mansfield, but not in PP.

Card game—called speculation. Mary is superb at gambling. Henry too. Confidence. Fanny is hopeless.

The other anti-virgin mary (maria)—can’t make a play after the novel. She’s cast out. But Mary can.

362. the tone is interesting. Schaden freude.

Part of the difficulty that this novel proposes (it’s always been dark and problematic) She’s working with the formula of the courtship novel, but doing something weird with it. The blocking characters are removed and the boy and girl come together—but the nature of that coming together is shadowed in a strange way.

Fanny is the principal center of consciousness, but the narrator makes some of the least likable characters temporarily the centers of consciousness, e.g. Maria for 2 paragrahs (her reasons for marrying Rushworth, covered last week.) here were’s entering the consciousness of Sir T. 363. parental pedagogy gone wrong. He’s taking stock of his failure as father, teacher. It’s impossible in this paragraph to distinguish Sir T and Narrator. NO free indirect speech. Pure sam Johnson.

Handout: from S Johnson’s biography of Milton. “The purpose of Milton, as it seems, was to teach something more solid than the common literature of Schools, by reading those authors that treat of physical subjects; such as Georgick, and astronomical treatises of the ancients. This was a scheme of improvement which seems to have busied many literary projectors of the age. Cowley, who had more means than Milton of knowing what was wanting to the embellishments of life, formed the same plan of education in his imaginary College. / But the truth is, that the knowledge of external nature, and the sciences which that knowledge requires or includes, are not the great or the frequent business of the human mind. Whether we provide for action or conversation, whether we wish to be useful or pleasing, the first requisite is the religious and moral knowledge of right and wrong; the next is an acquaintance with the history of mankind, and with those examples which may be said to embody truth, and prove by events the reasonableness of opinions. Prudence and Justice are virtues, and excellences, of all times and of all places; we are perpetually moralists, but we are geometricians only be chance. Our intercourse with intellectual nature is necessary; our speculations upon matter are voluntary, and at leisure. Physiological learning is of such rare emergence, that one man may know another half his life without being able to estimate his skill in hydrostaticks or astronomy; but his moral and prudential character immediately appears.”

Johnson summarizes and critiques Milton’s views on education of the young. He allows himself radically to misrepresent radically what Milton says. But J’s account of the theory is transfused into Mansfield Park. Johnson would highly disapprove of chemistry majors who didn’t study morality. It exactly describes what has gone wrong with the education of the Bertram sisters. Fanny’s education is, according to Johnsonian theory, value, by contrast. And she doesn’t sing or dance well. What the end of the novel does is expose the dangerous insufficiency the educational system (through Sir Thomas’s realizing how he fucked up and failed.) part of this radical reassessment occurs because M Norris is banished physically and spiritually from Mansfield. Medical language—Mrs Norris was a tumor. The narrator has rescued Sir Thomas and Fanny in the exposure and expulsion of Ms Norris.

369. peculiar interest doesn’t mean bizarre, it means ‘particular’. He mind in so great a degree formed in his care. Pygmalion—the sculptor who falls in love with his statute. It comes to life. There’s a strong Pygmalion element. The point the narrator is making is that Edmund understands that in fanny’s eyes, he’s very important. The darkest possible reading of this ending: austen constructs a complicated relation of sadism masochism, then forces the relation into a happy ending.

The narrator at end of north abbey, takes us ostentatiously into her own workshop and asked us to collaborate. End of book.

KJV. Moments where the narrator is echoing the psalms some parts of the Hebrew bible; therefore we can see the ending of a biblical way; the unworthy are pruned and cast into the fire.

Mansfield then belongs to fanny; the patriarchy has been replaced by a matriarchy.

You can map the novel in terms of the spatial progress of fanny, what rooms she stays in. topography does function symbolically.

Fanny as a heroine has elicited a wide range of critical comments. Plenty people find her obnoxious and uninteresting.

Professor is reminded of AYLike It, where everyone get paired off except one character; rather, here a lot of characters are left.

Austen is probably not of the Devil’s Party (mary and henry), as is said of Milton. But there’s an undertone.

Why aren’t the specifics of the ending listed? Time frame? Johnson’s thought: the test of literary merit is the test of time. how many times in life will you reread Mansfield park vs emma. Or PP.

Paper topic. Style. Emphasize. More significant. The essence of this assignment is close reading, but devise an argument. Go beyond tabulation (he or she does this and that.) in thesis statement highlight what are the most sig alterations. We suppose that published is superior. (there might be, in my assessment, some cost to the editing. Maybe some felicities were sacrificed. )

Jane Austen in Context: Notes on Emma.

4-15-10. Today –to talk about volume 2 without talking about volume 3.

Watch Frank. secrets, enigmas and stratagems. Today 1) first mortification of emma, 2) mrs Elton, 3) the category of distressed (financial.) gentlewomen in this novel. Women born into a certain class who no longer have the means. At least 5 characters like this in emma

Tuesday: celibacy only that makes poverty women contemptible. To be a distressed single woman is to be especially distressed.

Ch. 16 Volume 1. One of the few chapters given over almost entirely to protagonist’s account of thoughts and emotions. No dialogue. By herself. The evening of the day on which she receives her proposal. 106. soliloquy. The narrator gives us the equivalent of a soliloquy. Stream of consciousness. (we associate quite wrongly with modernism. It goes back at least as far as austen.)

then she takes stock of her conduct, and painfully to revisit certain episodes that produced this mortification. How she could have been so deceived.

107. this is a novel which is deeply interesting to philosophers. Who take emma as one of the most interesting and sophisticated in English lit. it systematically juxtaposes characters who proceed through a priori reasoning to those who proceed from a posteriori. (priori: before evidence.)

COWPER. Austen’s sly way of helping us understand emma’s propensity for priori. “myself creating all I saw”. Emma does not perform hypotheses on the basis of close scrutiny of the data; rather to her presuppositions, which flow from her own sense of self and power. Narcissism. Environment. (circumstances described in the beginning of book—miss taylor, absent mother, absent father.—she’s had few people to give her reality checks. Plus her social power. The result is that she’s become a fantasist. She bends the observations she makes of the world around her to conform to her preconceptions. The opposite of scrupulous collection of data and distillation and analysis of data, to form hypothesis, which is then tested. The knightly brothers are empiricists.

One of mr knightly’s frustrations with emma: tries to convince her that close observation yields a different perspective.

107. At this moment of mortification, she takes a step to understanding the authority of the knightly bros. ‘there was no denying that those bros have penetration.’ Compare to the center of PP, when Liz, who has bent the outside world to conform to her own ‘superior’ powers of discernment, understands, on the basis of the empirical text which is darcy’s letter, causes her to revisit data, reexamine hypothesis.

Painful stock-taking as the precondition for change. What’s different from Liz? 108. this takes us towards liz, but it doesn’t speak to some kind of fundamental reassessment. Rather, she thinks of other people to set the girl up with. ‘there I was quite right’. Emma thinks her error is here. Not always.

This novel at least as much as Mansfield park is full of games. It appeals to sociologists. Part of what draws her to frank Churchill is that they’re both social, manipulative gamesters.

One of the multiple ironies, is that emma has been part of the master game of frank. She’s a pawn, not a colleague. Another mortification.

109. the style changes, becomes austen’s version of Johnson’s style. Complex sentences, polysyllabate words. (cogitation.) Why? Language starts out quite close to refined colloquial language, then moves to another register, eg. Doublets and triplets. Professor doesn’t know secret answer. (up to this point, narrator has been giving stream of consciousness, so casual language. No, analyzing, therefore must use her own language, not emma’s casual language. Her authority here is preeminent. Without leaving emma’s consciousness.)

there’s an unusually close correspondence with internal and external climate. We usually associate with say Jane Eyre. Architecture, landscape--- moods of characters. = expressionism. Exterior landscape maps interior sensibility. In some poetry, distinction blurs. Here, no blurring, but correspondence. At the climax of the book, the shift in emma’s fortunes corresponds with shift in weather. In Persuasion, the sensibility of the heroine is constantly being described by descriptions of place and season.

Mr Knightly’s grounds are the closest thing in book we have to country house.

In the second volume, she has for the first time in her life a social rival, the bride of mr Elton. Second only to emma as the mistress of hartfield, in terms of social authority. Mrs Elton is one of austen’s great comic creations.

A new phase of the novel opens with this chapter. Austen gives us the kind of generalization that opens PP, human nature is so well disposed. 142. ironic. ‘interesting’ 19th c resonance—useful euphamism. Oh, she’s in an interesting condition = she’s pregnant. You’d never say, Oh, she’s pregnant. Even before we’ve met mrs Elton, we’re on our guard. Why? “by some means or other”—sly. Who has been telling people that mrs Elton is handsome elegant, highly accomplished? Mr Elton, who is an unreliable observer and narrator.

There is comical tempo here, whereby a courtship that should have taken a while has taken less than a month. We’re put on guard. Why have mr Elton and augusta parkins gotten married so quickly?

One of the tropes of the romance novel, is that the guy is so in ardor, is that the guy wants to get married in three weeks or so, quickly.

Blend of narrator and free indirect speech. Mr Elton had returned a very unhappy man. (narrator.) Samuel Johnson to give us a précis. All of a sudden, ‘as superior “of course” [from Mr Elton’s POV, because he deserves the best.] Mr Elton feels socially humiliated by being considered a socially appropriate husband for Mrs Smith, according to Emma. Deft blend of the narrator reporting on Mr Elton, and Mr Elton’s thoughts about himself.

Then paragraph of extraordinary interest. “The charming Augusta Hawkins”… one could spend an hour thinking about this paragraph. Example of austen’s narrative tactics. How does she convey a picture of these two and their marriage without overtly tipping her hand. The narrator isn’t investing her authority in the assessment of Augusta Hawkins as beautiful and merit. Rounding up 10,000 is unreliable. We suspect that both augusta and mr Elton would prefer thinking about her net worth as 10G rather than actual. ‘the story told well’… austen is inviting us to reflect that story is set of facts. And narrated. And fiction.

He ‘gained’ a woman of … and he had ‘gained’ her. You can use it in a non-monetary sense, but not right after the 10G has been emphasized. Austen—learned from Johnson---party balloon. Floats up, sent by the narrator, as she reports on the way in which the courtship and marriage are represented by the bride and groom; but then punctures deftly. …’that vanity and prudence were equally contented.’ Suddenly we understand what the couple has been about. Motivated by vanity and prudence. (prudence now means savvy financial calculation, not the moral sense it had for Fielding.) Elton has no $, and she isn’t rich enough or beautiful enough to last long on the market, so she settles.

Mrs Elton has great idiolect. We encounter mrs Elton in the flesh after being prepared for her. 212 this is the kind of summary that might remind you of description of Mr Collins’ . hammered into a coffin. Emma is a highly flawed protagonist, many of whose judgments are wrong, but here the narrator completely lines herself up with emma. Because the word ‘vanity’ comes back. Narrator is linking her summation of emma’s conclusions, with the conclusions she/he has already given us.

218. this description is also apt, but a little more complicated. We realize mrs Elton is a parody of emma; she is to emma as Lady Catherine is to Mr Darcy; she’s a shadow character who acts out the worst tendencies of another. Emma is saved from turning into Mrs Elton by marrying knightly. Darcy is saved by marrying Liz.

First, most formal, call him Mr. Knightly, then Knightly, then Bob.

Mrs Elton displays her vulgarity by assuming intimacy. Preoccupation with social power, misjudgments with people, Emma Mrs Elton in common. Also, emma is to mrs harriet as mrs Elton is to Jane. They’re dueling patronesses. Mrs Elton uses jane Fairfax for her own purposes.

3rd topic of distressed gentlewoman: description of a party at the coles. (we usually skip over.) the less worthy females were to come later in the evening. You don’t go to dinner, just tea after. These less worthy females are also the distressed gentlewomen, they include Mrs Bates (jane fairfax’s grandmother, widow of a modest, poor clergyman. She subsists on a tiny annuity and the gifts of friends). Miss Bates (daughter, Charlotte Lucas without Mr Collins – middle age, no chance of a husband. Ugly, poor, too old.) [Miss Taylor would well have entered this category had it not been for Miss Weston; therefore Emma is mistaken when she feels bad for her, cuz she’s lucky, saved]; Jane is at risk of becoming distressed, unless she becomes a governess. Miss Smith may well become distressed. Jane is allowed a moment of extraordinary candor in this book, allows us to measure her pent up feeling, and explosive temperament. Emma says she can never like jane that she is so reserved. We learn why jane must be so reserved. (what would this novel be like if this novel were told in jane fairfax’s voice?).

what is miss bates like? (aunt jane). Talkative. Grateful. Not fussy, not ‘nice’; rather, happy. (this doubles what the narrator has to tell us.) she’s a comic monstrosity. She’s a garrulous bore, but a good woman and she’s made the most of a tough life. She’s grateful, surprisingly. Emma commits something like a sin, publicly insulting miss bates. (if you only think of miss bates as a fool, you won’t understand quite how grevious this is.)

Jane finds mrs Elton difficult. 235. Suddenly the tone darkens, and we’re at risk of leaving the comic world of the novel and entering Jane Eyre. (diatribe against Austen by Bronte, dumb. Uncharacteristically undiscerning, perhaps because she owes a big debt to austen. Here is a point of that debt. The Slave Governess. Jane would have to go sell her intellect, put it up for auction, were it not for what we discover to be the case in the final chapter. She’s potentially the most distressed of all the characters in this book. )

4-13-10. “a heroine whom no one but myself will much like” ; “control of distance”

sympathy ← - - - - - - - - - -→ judgment
(identification) (repudiation)

To read Emma for the first time is only to begin to understand the art of the novel. Something to do with the revelation in the end of the book.

Austen herself described as “a heroine”… we know from the first sentence that heroine will propose challenge to us… sympathy or judgment?

What did wayne boothe say? Control of distance (in The Rhetoric of Fiction).

Hypothesis: austen is ultimately successful in controlling distance so as to guide us to sympathy and judgment. Maybe I don’t think that. Maybe I dislike emma the girl. Or you may love her for all her faults as mr knightly does.

5) opening. No opening generalization, no family history. Rather; handsome, clever, and rich.

We find complexity of tone in opening. Which rings some warning bells. Casts shadow over sunny portrait. Doom casting. Cuing us to buckle our seat

Extraordinarily blend of free indirect speech. Most challenging of all of austen’s novels to read. We can go badly astray if we don’t separate between narrator and emma.

We’re to understand that only mom could discipline her; governess was too mild and more of a friend.

Highly esteems her governess but is directed chiefly by her own. She has been calling the shots in her household since early adolescence.

Mr Woodhouse is a Valetudinarian = someone completely occupied with their own health. More often than not hypocondriacs. He’s a kind of baby, think the outside world exists to gratify him. So instead of substituting in any way for the absence of the mother, further exacerbates.

Rather too much, a little too well. They intend to soften or moderate egotism and lack of self-knowledge, but they actually tend to emphasize.

Clever—in contemporary British English, sharp but rather facile. Politician who is a little too glib and shallow.

Fond. Is a word that as austen is using it, is changing from pejorative (excessively indulgent [Gulliver’s travels—they exhibit no fondness for the horses…but rather than meaning that they are mean to their horses, they are not excessively, cloyingly nice) 18th c., to contemporary. Double valence of fondness—both what ms taylor has been supplying to emma, and what she hasn’t been supplying.

Nice. Fastidious or discriminating.

By the end of the opening, what have we been alerted to. The opening is a reader’s guide.

Emma is the most self-deluded of all heroines—this novel involves the fundamental re-education of a heroine who thinks she knows herself but she doesn’t know herself and all.
The means of re-education is mortification. So much is she in need of it that she needs several doses. Volume I comes to close with a dose. She’s examining herself in the mirror. Delusion #1, Mr Elton wants to marry harriet.

Prof. doesn’t want to put too much pressure on the opening; novel only completely blossoms if you re-read. Almost every paragraph registers differently 2nd time.

Which character most consistently doubles the narrator? The heroine (PP, Mansfield), no. Mr. Knightly. (tilney is northanger, but northanger’s narrator isn’t nearly as controlled or mature as emma’s.)

Mr. Knightly is passionately in love with Emma. They come together in the end.

Explore the harriet smith episodes in Vol I, as a way of probing the complexities of Emma’s characters. Orphan that Emma takes under her wing. Emma convinces herself that harriet’s father is gentlemen. Over and over we see emma filling in a lacuna with her own fantasy. Dangerous. She would be great with Rorschach. If harriet is aristocrat, she needs the education that Emma can provide.

Emma is # 1 in the neighborhood. She’s the mistress of hartfield, and the whole neighborhood. Her kingdom. Therefore harriet is one of her subjects.

Harriet went to boarding school, average, perfectly respectable. What’s she like physically and mentally. Petite buxom blonde, blue eyes, --- = china doll. Emma is playing with her. Timid, really dumb, clueless. 17 years old.

Harriet’s style of beauty emma finds very appealing but not threatening. Knightly says emma has no personal vanity (physically.)

Wow—Clueness is an extremely astute re-write of Emma. Film was even screened in a previous incarnation of the professor’s class. Amy Heckerling.

Why does emma refuse the friendship of miss Fairfax? Fairfax would be a perfect friend? Emma has never developed any of her talents to a level of excellence (singing, piano, drawing). She wants to be judged as cultivated, but she actually knows she’s not that great. Jane Fairfax however is perfectly cultivated and accomplished. Emma’s pride is mortified when she considers what jane has been able to accomplish;

But moreso, she has a horror of social pollution. Spending time with jane’s grandmother and aunt will infect her.

Harriet smith is a perfect candidate. She’s pretty, docile, she’s like putty. She in emma’s mistaken judgment is a gentlewoman, and, mistaken again, she has caught the eye of mr Elton. Emma proceeds to fill her own emotional void by cultivating harriet and getting her a relationship.

19. fascinating free indirect speech. Two words that echo in paragraph are must and she. She must have good sense. The evidence of her good sense is that she is Full of uncritical admiration of emma. MUST, similar to opening sentence of PP?

30. perhaps the most important sentence in the novel. …

this picture, painting, turns out to be inaccurate. The psychological and representational are being connected. My knightly looks at the picture of harriet and says harriet is too tall. Emma says no, even though she sort of knows it’s true. The dramatic irony grows quick (there’s a gap between what the character knows about herself, or won’t accept, and what we know about her.)

Emma is taking reactions which should be for her, and applying them to harriet. 57. charade. To Miss ‘-----. Emma is filling in the blank, but with the wrong word. Mr Elton thinks it’s a transparent code for woodhouse, but emma thinks it’s smith. And then abuses her gifts as a close-reader. COURT. SHIP. We’re both taking pleasure in the protagonist’s reaction, and in our own superior understanding of her severe limitations.

we are all, as students of literature, trying to practise exegesis (a reading out-of the text), trying always to avoid eisogesis (reading in-to the text). Emma is an excellent exegete. Except in key points. Like the mad astronomer. (talented natural astronomer, then goes astray.) another Johnsonian legacy, the case study of the protagonist as fantasist. The themes of the well-regulated intelligence, and the powers of the imagination are very serious for austen.

Persuasion: “she had no resources for solitude”…. Having resources for solitude, the older the professor gets, he realizes the important they are. Emma has some, but they are not benign. They involve the manipulation of others.

Emma’s role in harriet smith’s rejection of mr martin’s proposal. Emma induces her protégé to fall in love with a man who is not interested in her, and reject the perfect suitor. How does she do that, because it’s clear that harriet is at least half in love with …

Emma again applies here exegetical powers, misapplies:40. lots going on here. (remember the culture that values a familiar letter, a good letter accurately authentically represents the emotion and character of the writer.) emma’s description of mr martin’s letter is actually a description of mr knightly’s. (that’s not here on the surface.) Is emma lying when she says ‘I think one of his sisters must have helped him? One reason the prof finds problematic—is that in a few minutes emma virtually dictates a letter for harriet’s letter of rejection. Her pose is affectionate and distant counselor. But not so.

Why does emma think that accepting mr martin’s proposal is bad for harriet. It’s too realistic a match, breaks the fantasy that harriet is high-born. Emma has decided that, despite the evidence of his social elegance in the letter—mr martin is ignorant and low.

Also, it would make harriet too low for emma to visit. Also, emma doesn’t want to lose her tool, doll harriet.

Emma is not afraid, in and of itself, of being an ‘old maid’ : “It is only poverty that makes celibacy contemptible”

The knightly bros, both empiricists, tell emma that she better mind herself around mr Elton; she denies she has to be careful; but she does. Elton is pissed at being rejected, emma is pissed that she misjudged whether Elton likes her, pissed that he thinks he can marry her.

106. mortification. 1st moment of accurate self-knowledge, but by the end of the scene she has slipped back.

4-20-10. “games people play” Explore the significance of play and game in Vol 3. The word game played at hartfield. Then social arena, visit to donwell abbey, linked to games on B. Hill, linked to mortification of heroine.

Amiable , Mortify: important to know what she meant. Her dictionary was Johnson’s. “Game”. 9 meanings in johnson’s dictionary. At least 3 are directly relevant to Emma. 2) jest, opposed to earnest or seriousness. 3) insolent merriment, sportive insult –make a game of my calamities 6) scheme pursued, measures planned.

Blocks—alphabet blocks make words. Anagram. Used to mock and insult. The two words are blunder and Dickson. Blunder—frank walking with mr knightly, they see the doctor drive past, …carriage… secret, … knightly figures out secret understanding between frank and jane. Secret letter. Blunder is a half apology from frank to jane. Dickson—diametrically opposed purpose.

Ch 5, v 3, mr knightly is the center of consciousness. 273. he must not pass on the word to jane, but nonetheless frank does. Jane blushes more than knightly ever perceived her. Why. Official pretext of frank’s disingenuous flirt with emma is …. But over and again, frank uses pretext to wound jane. Toxic, feverish, especially on Box Hill.

273 prelude to passing the word is painful to jane. She’s embarrassed by having her private feelings willfully misinterpreted. Jane’s situation is horrible. To imagine the story told by jane, would be a different novel; emma even despicable. She’s never able to express authentic feelings; she’s caught up in this game which she agreed to, the game to pretending that she’s unattached and moving forward with career as governess. Her only mechanism of self-defense is by being guarded and not opening up.

Half-public, half-private dynamic of simulated eroticism, … frank is pretending to make love to emma right in front of jane. This simulation also has a part to play in the ensuing episode, the field trip to donwell alley.

278. playlet. Mrs Elton and mr knightly. Who’s in control of the party? She wants to decide on the guest list, where, what they eat, bring her house keeper. Marie Antoinette fantasy, contruct a mock-farm house, far away from Versailles, pretend to be shepherdess. “apparatus of happiness” she comes wither her apparatus. She can’t conceive of the visit without all these props: bonnet, ribbon, donkey. This is a struggle for authority.

Simplicity, transparency, are knightly’s values. Mrs Elton finds his talk half amusing, half wounding. She thinks he is a humorist, 4 humors. Someone who has a temperament that reflects a kind of disinclination to ‘humor’ others, and an inclination to be ironic.

Emma and mr knightly have a shared ironic temperament.

Also, in seeking to control social affair, she wants herself stamped all over it. She wants to be the heroine of a little play. All about props and costume. Paragraph where she walks among the strawberries is brilliant, because she is performing. Not interested in strawberries at all.

There’s also a contest with emma here; two women already locked in contest to control neighborhood. (mrs knightly at donwell abbey, and mrs Elton at the parish house. –this conflict will go on for decades.)

Mr knightly wants to entertain and comfort Mr woodhouse.

Unusual passage of landscape description. (in persuasion, pay special attention to the use of the natural world, location and mapping the emotions of the characters.) we see donwell

281. portrait of land paints portrait of mr knightly. Emma’s rapturous response to the house and the grounds is a clue to feelings and hopes that she is not yet consciously aware of. To reread emma is to read it truly for the first time. We must understand that emma is to BECOME the mistress for this place.

Opening of V 3 of PP. heroine is getting to know the hero even more intimately by seeing the defining landscape of the hero. The contours of donwell are the contours of george knightly.

Emma and mr knightly struggle to preserve authentic pleasure and communication during the visit. Mrs Elton is the antagonist, trying to control the visit. But also frank Churchill, who arrives very late, and has lost his composure (emma doesn’t know why); it takes him some time to settle down and enjoy the tone of the meeting. (what has really happened is that he’s just had a fight with jane. This is a rare moment of authentic communication of jane and emma. Mrs Elton is trying to force her to become governess of friend’s kids. Jane is between the rock of her unscrupulously flirtatious fiancée who won’t commit (in fact, he’s trying to hurt her by publicly flirting with emma) and mrs Elton, a hard-place. She’s living in a few cramped rooms above a store with little privacy. She can’t get the sound of miss bates out her ears. Much of her social life is conducted under the thumb of mrs Elton. Jane can’t talk to anyone about it; needs some time by herself; does this Elizabeth bennet-like thing by walking a distance by herself. She runs into frank, they fight. He comes to donwell upset. All of these oblique but intense signals, inimicable to the code of knightly,…

The strawberries are simply props for the graceful performance of mrs Elton. Austen makes what is thought to be her one major error—fruit trees in bloom a month too late. (perhaps she did it on purpose to suggest an eden.)

We have box hill. This expedition is doomed from the beginning, the narrator tells us. Notice how tightly the chapters are linked. From word game, to social game # 1 at donwell, game 2 at box hill.
288. this scene is in some ways the most important scene in the book. The social compact is violated in this scene. We look into something very dark. Phase 1, the arrival at box hill and the separation of party into groups. Elements are constantly spinning out, not forming a core. When the do come together, emma and frank flirt. It’s excessive. Emma did it because she felt less happy than she expected, neither she nor frank have real feelings for each other. Frank wants to wound jane. Jane has no power, frank is rubbing it in. there’s a false eroticism; arid flirtation; glittering, but brittle and spiked. Frank is going to continue his campaign (begun at word game) of getting at jane.

Emma’s rationale for flirtation—she’s half-conscious of the attention mr knightly has been paying attention to harriet, jealous. It all comes flooding to the surface in that scene when harriet tells emma that she likes knightly, vice-versa. Emma revisits the intentions at donwell.

Also a struggle with mrs Elton; emma wants this to be her event, not mrs elton’s. And emma invents a game in collaboration with frank. 291. emma could not resist. Play can often be more serious than non-play. Cruel things are enacted. Emma couldn’t resist acting out towards mrs bates, that she’s talky and silly. Why doesn’t emma like mrs bates, --bates and her circle exemplify all the 2nd and 3rd rate elements of the town. Emma has a horror of social contamination. Emma doesn’t feel contaminated, but rather angry at bates. Odd.

Interesting book on people who are financially dependent. One of the least laudable trait of people who hate people who are dependent. Those who are dependent are viwed as disreputable; they don’t deserve help, are inferior. Emma has some of this towards mrs bates, resents her. Poverty only that makes celibacy contemptible. (this contemptible is bates.) the dark side of emma.

Why is emma’s comment wrong, in the ethical scheme of the novel.

294. he is taking a great emotional risk; he may actually drive her away for good, and he loves her. Mr knightly. Produces anger at herself, mortification, deep concern.

295. most intense mortification in austen. Emma’s transgressions exceed even eliz bennet. Mr knightly has awakened a better self in emma. The mortification has brought out an inner voice in emma. not the result of a crowbar-like maneuver, but rather what knightly observes in emma has been occluded in emma. language of the rational self, not the fanciful self. Emma’s fancy causing her to mislead herself and others. The final step before they can come together as a couple, is a redistribution of qualities in the heroine—
332, to prepare her for a proposal. Then the weather changes: cold bleak changes to spring. Mr knightly comes.

Conclusion of the book. Let’s flag two aspects of the conclusion. 1) the fact that knightly, having been advisor, reprimander, …becomes lover, eroticized; 2) the fact that they begin their married life in mr woodhouse’s home. They won’t move to donwell. Ménage a trios. Mr knighly mr woodhouse. (16-17 year age gap between knightly. Make him inauthentic as marriage partner.)

Was there spice in the proposal scene? Does emma’s realization that she’s been in love with knightly all this time ring true? Why go to mr woodhouse’s home? Do we think mr woodhouse is lovable old codger or manipulative? There are obviously parallels between bates and mr woodhouse. Part of the genius of the book is that we are annoyed by woodhouse, as other characters are.

The narrator guides us to feel that emma’s care for her father is one of emma’s most attractive characteristics.

Hartfield is a little island or portion in the middle of the donwell estate.

Is this a heroine whom no one but her creator could love? Austen pulls a rabbit out of the hat at the end, by converting her heroine at the end into someone worthy of knightly?

There is a religious element—transgression and redemption; grace is supplied by knightly, awaken the self-knowledge that produces change in emma.

381. ending. Unequivocal declaration, perfect happiness of the union.

Jane Austen in Context: Notes on Persuasion.

4-27-10. Page 9. opening persuasion. This is his bible. Self-admiration. Mirror gazing—prepares us for Croft’s reference to the multiple mirrors in the dressing room that he doesn’t need. (only a little shaving mirror is needed.) Pinned down like a butterfly as a narcissist. Family history. Sir walter eliot looks down on lady Russell, as the widow of a mere knight.

Novel maps a shift in political social and economic power, from the illustrious landed gentry to the navy. This is austen’s love letter to the royal navy in 1815. Waterloo.

Austen sends her off to some ship at the end, as part of england’s glorious future, not at home with corrupt passé baronets.

Opening adumbrates one of the novel’s principle themes: loss. Consider the number of deaths. Still born. And walter eliot’s wife. (at end, cousin gets the estate; mrs clay will be lady eliot.) Elizabeth will spend the rest of her life doing what—she’ll have to give up husband hunting. Probably end up in rented quarters in bath, small elegant.

Richard Musgrove, death.—sardonic on the part of narrator, describing large fat sighings. Almost cruel.

Lots of death. The death of love too. Anne eliot is austen’s oldest and most emotionally damaged heroine. It’s often been said that this novel seems autumnal; it’s an exact description of landscape. Like the winter’s tale. Begins in winter into spring.

This is not representative of the austen novel. Professor would never present this novel as an introduction to austen. This is professor’s favorite austen novel.

Opening provides rapid and concise exposition, introduces elegiac tone. Intro does not introduce us in any substantive way to heroine.

11. her word had no weight. (anne’s). anne is the most silent and watchful of all austen’s heroines, until 2nd half of book. She clearly gazes and has extraordinarily expressive eyes.

Persuasion—her word has no weight, means she can’t be trusted. She gives you her word and breaks it.

Contrasts between anne’s understanding and wentworth’s of the engagement.

27. anne’s account. 54. Wentworth’s. chasm between the two accounts. Given the chasm, how can they be reunited? Begins through a shared set of encounters with landscape. It foregrounds landscape in a way that no other austen novel does. A certain something begins to dissipate during the long walk.

71. another unusual feature. Of all the novels, two volumes, rather than three. What would have filled a third volume? The mrs smith subplot might have been allowed to bloom. The exposition of this novel is very speedy. The middle stages cover a lot of plot and development.

71- her object was not to be in the way of anybody. Nature half personified. Last smiles of the year. Silent communion with the natural world, because anne is utterly alone. She has only lady Russell as a confident, but not as satisfying as, eg. Edmund is to Fanny. Anne is alone. Her pleasure (italicized –for irony).

Out of this withered landscape, come the germ or the nut of a future happiness; wentworth’s observation of anne, which produces that silent but almost overwhelming gesture of kindness, the going to crofts and saying miss anne is tired, give her a ride. Silent gesture of kindness, tells anne that she is present to him somehow, is similar to when he silently picks her nephew off her back. She’s almost overwhelmed again. But nothing really gets going here til the visit to lyme Regis.

We have an unprecedentedly lavish description, of landscape. 80. (similar to opening of vol 3 of PP, pemberly description. Details and vocab and piled clause upon clause to create a semi-esctatic tribute to combo of rugged land and sea.) chart progress of late 18th c to early 19th c---interesting moment of transition in style, by austen.Narrator pinpoint’s anne’s developing romanticism.

What gets Frederick re-interested in anne? Eliot is interested in anne. Triangle. This is a novel full of silent gazing. The language of these lovers is characterized by intense obliquity; until the end of novel, they don’t speak directly. Usually the look and communicate through indirect means.

How does anne get her bloom back so quickly? Wentworth gives her a glance of brightness, in response to re-blooming, or mere jealousy.

The almost death of Louisa Musgrove almost seems to dash everything. Out of her coma comes a new personality. A husband, but not wentworth. Ironically, the event which would seem to rupture wentworth and anne (louisa’s fall) enables them.

It would be impossible to imagine anne staring hard back at wentworth. Women couldn’t do that.

Landscape 1- upercross, 2-lyme Regis, 3- bath. Each has emotions and values with bath. (Bath is a Roman town built around sulfuric waters. Revived in the early 18th century as a place of healing.—the pump room is a place where if you could drink these water and look at people in the hot baths, but it was principally a place to socialize and romance. Split identity—it is a place for healing, but also of dissipation and disguise (not literal). Who are the masqueraders in bath? Eliz and walter, who want still to seem rich. Mr eliot is a masquerader. Mrs clay.

Persuasion has some explicitly religious language, different from other austen novels.

The navy: wentworth, harville, benwick, admiral and mrs croft. On balance, austen displays more dysfunctional than happy marriages. But admiral and mrs croft are happy. She is copilot, she’s determined to follow her husband everywhere. She has orange skin. Forecasts what anne will become. What does it mean that the crofts take over kellych? The economic fact has ethical and social dimensions. Croft returns the estate to the norms and ideals that have been betrayed by an unworthy landowner. Eliot doesn’t care about creditors—doesn’t care that he owes some little taylor huge amount of money. there’s a telling little moment when anne goes to bath, and sis and father want to be told that tenants and workers miss them , but they don’t.

Charity, generosity, probity = anne. Anne visits servant families.

A good wife can take a weak husband and make him better. Fanny dashwood to john—she turns him bad. Lady elliot turns walter good while she lived.

What the crofts stand for ---political military future of the navy, and through the revitalization of older landed tradition. Anne is reborn and revitalized by the end of the book.

Best traditions of honesty reciprocity … reinvented.

Homer’s illiad, voiced by heroes going into battle. Because we’re princes back home, we have special responsibilities to lead men into battle and behave inspiringly—noblesse oblige. Austen subscribed to it, probably. Privilege entails responsibility. Society is knit together thru combination of ….The poor are cared for. Each rank in society is connected. Sir walter shatters this, cuz he doesn’t pay his lowly tailors.

The ship is hierarchical, (cabin boy to admiral) … each ship can only survive if everyone does his part.

One reason anne is the perfect wife for Wentworth is that she has already imagined herself as the wife on a ship, and adjusted herself to it. She admires a crippled poor naval officer stuck in winter lodgings, has created a thriving marriage and family life. ‘contrivance’ of toys. Utopian. It has no place for the eliots. Anne is the only woman present at the accident not to have a hysterical fit; she captains the group; even captain wentworth doesn’t quite know what to do. So she is already displaying the values that would fit her for the role she takes up in the end.

Benwick. Similar to fellow naval officers, and dissimilar.
Anne’s and fanny price’s private libraries are similar (no fiction. Poetry is didactic.) Scott and Byron’s exotic narratives are bad, especially for Benwick. She recommends Johnson’s essays. Also biographies and travel writing. Catherine morland is taught by henry tilney not to get lost in exotic literature.

Anne is least talkative and best read of heroines.

4-29-10. Page188. persuasion. Extraordinary exchange, taps into at least as far back as wife of bath, who throws into the fire a misogynous text. The dropping of the pen, and anne’s declaration, and the declaration by anne that the pen has been if their hands. What does his pen dropping signify? More than just that he’s paying attention. Change or open-endedness in the end of Wentworth’s letter. it’s also striking that It’s the heroine who takes the initiative, she’s not the passive receptor of information.

Tradition of criticism that associates the pen with phallus. Dropped pen, empowers ann, contributes to feeling that this is going to be a dynamically reciprocal relationship, as we think darcy and Elizabeth will be.

Repetitions in austen are always significant. Pen, pen.

191. Final tribute to Richardson. Purest example. Wentworth’s letter. the letter as a cardiogram. Beautiful example. As it is of writing to the moment. Reminds me to simultaneous translation (as you hear it in the U.N.) ; as he listens to her, he’s responding and translating to her conversation with harville. A kind of running commentary on the conversation btw ann and harville. also language gives Ann here the upper hand. Her eyes ‘devoured’ the words of the hero. The hero speaks a stereotypically female language—you pierce my soul, over-powers. He is in the position occupied in the first part of the book, now he’s pining and hanging upon her words. His whole happiness depends on a signal that she must send. The signal is a gaze. Anne’s look at him says, at the very least, you have permission to proceed. Their first direct expression of love, the private walk in the public sphere.

Circumstances under which lovers reunite. Anne’s first refusal to honor the terms of the engagement is comparable to eliz’s first refusal of darcy. But anne is much more time worn and tear stained than eliz.

Student says: Comparable: darcy’s portrait, at which eliz can stare and love, and wentworth’s letter, at which anne can stare.

Cumulative effect of wentworth’s letter is stacatto. Reflects and dramatizes his effort to understand (hear, interpret correctly) and respond as he writes. This is a quill pen. It has to be dipped periodically in an ink-well.

He manages to end the letter with a syntactic conclusion, (leads into the signature), = a certain degree of literary control, but then feels compelled to the post script, which signals that the response he expects from anne is her characteristic response: not the word but the look.

Wentworth has been unmanned again, in the letter.

final tribute to Richardson, = perfectly exemplifies the letter as conversation. I can listen no longer in silence, and the way he breaks the silence is to converse in a letter. purer, more authentic form of communication than direct address.

In a way, the letter is highly clichéd. Representation of female beloved as goddess. By choosing this language, austen is activating this long tradition. It reveals a new vulnerability and tenderness in wentworth. They are perfectly suited after all.

193. this is the connection. The look.

Wentworth’s cheeks glowed. Extraordinary thing to say about a male navy officer. Because the blood, the flush is repeatedly feminine in austen.

Perhaps flaw in original ending: admiral croft plays a trick = acting out of character.

Original ending. Pander: comes from Panderous (greek mythology), go-between, pimp. He pandered to her worst desires. Huckstering salesmanship that exploits baser desires. Admiral croft is close to this, when he manipulates and thrusts them into each others’ arms.

The two being thrown together is not true to the maturation to the characters. In a sense, the original ending is like Fielding, comical, farcical. The published ending is Richardsonian.

Private moment in public life on gravel walk. Continued at party where anne continues as co-hostess, have quiet words with W in public.

Aspects of social critique in the book. Representative of landed gentry (walter) is presented with satire; navy is better custodian of land. Future belongs to navy men. New blood. Withering stock of the nation is being re-invigorated. Austen’s final sentence returns to panoramic sentence and forecast of the future. We begin the novel with walter looking at his imagine in a textual mirror, the baronetage.

203. last sentence. Narrator really closes the novel in her own voice. “More distinguished in its domestic virtues…” –it’s the way the navy people behave, even if it is making a home on a ship—that will reinvigorate the country.

She also redeems the navy from the Mary Crawford, homosexual view of the navy. (all navy are positive except dick Musgrove.)

Crude: conflate what we know of austen’s life, with the voice and values of narrator. That’s why the professor insists, perhaps over-insists, that the narrator is the chief character in each.

Essay Questions: 1) “In all the preparations of the mind she was complete; being prepared for matrimony by an hatred of home, restraint, and tranquility; by the misery of disappointed affection, and contempt of the man she was to marry. The rest might wait.” How do case studies in malfunctioning marriages help to shape the plots and affect the tone of Austen’s fiction? Choose your example from at least two novels on the syllabus.

2) What impact does the reception and interpretation of letters have upon the education (or re-education) of Austen’s heroines? Choose your examples from at least two novels on the syllabus.

3) how does the example of the sexually transgressive female complicate and comment upon the role of the heroine(s) in Sense and Sensibility and Mansfield Park?

4) According to the novelist David Lodge, “free indirect speech allows the novelist to give the reader intimate access to a character’s thoughts without totally surrendering control of the discourse to that character (as in the epistolary novel).” How and why does Austen interweave authorial commentary with free indirect speech? Make sure that you take account of Emma in your response.


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