The act of reading ... begins on a flat surface, counter or page, and then gets stirred and chopped and blended until what we make, in the end, is a dish, or story, all our own.
— Adam Gopnik

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April 14, 2020

Escaping



      In Jane Austen's world I can feel at home and be as much alive as in my own. ... I meet there people who are no mere characters in fiction, but sensible companions, and their thoughts and feelings are in close alliance with what I personally think and feel.
      To enter that world is to visit a congenial set of friends, and I still find that in their company I lose my own cares, much as I lost them on my first visit, thirty years ago. Jane Austen is the perfect novelist of escape ... She does not transport one into fantasy but simply into another, less urgent set of facts. She tells no fairy-tale which  might send us back dazzled and reeling to our contacts with normal life, but diverts us from our preoccupation with another set of problems no less real than our own. ...
from Talking of Jane Austen, by Sheila Kaye-Smith
 and G.B. Stern (1943)

I remember that several of our blogging friends have read this, and its sequel, and liked it — were you one of them? — and I remembered this morning that it was in the stack of books from the college library that I don't have to return quite yet.  That's my day made. :)

{The painting is by Janet Hill.}

3 comments:

Claire (The Captive Reader) said...

I am one of them! I love this book and dip in every so often to be reminded of how much they share my love of Emma. I was eyeing the second volume just on the weekend and thinking it might be time for a reread and to finally write a post about it. You're going to have so much fun with it!

Audrey said...

Thanks, Claire -- I should have guessed that you were!

Karen K. said...

I have this book also (still unread, of course!). It was highly recommended by a member of our JASNA group. I've also been retreating into Jane Austen lately. I just finished the audio version of Emma last night and I think I may try for all six books this year.

Thank you for visiting!

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