Monday, March 01, 2010

My Jane Austen Moment

It is becoming clear to me, that I do not give the staff here at mwbh enough to do. Recently some of the research staff founded a Jane Austen Book Club. They've been bugging me ever since to write a piece on the Catholic underpinnings of her works. Well I suppose I would had I ever read one of her novels. Once I saw the film production of Sense and Sensibility starring Emma Thompson and Hugh Grant. Why are most of the guys are a bunch of preening pompadours, and how can they get the girl in the end acting like that? Is that the best those gals can do? No wonder the Brits got their asses handed to them by the Yanks, because shooting at a bunch of guys standing in a straight line beats the hell out of chasing rabbits, unless you're fetching dinner.

But I digress.

Here's what Saint Louis Catholic wrote about using Jane Austen novels as a means of ... liturgical allegory???

If today's faithful Catholic is represented by Elizabeth Bennet, bright, hopeful and coming of age, then the liturgical forms would have to be represented by Mr. Darcy and Mr. Wickham.

Mr. Wickham is immediately accessible, loves to talk--especially about how bad ol' Darcy is-- has some initial minor flash but soon proves to be tedious and unreliable.

Mr. Darcy at first glance looks stuffy and condescending, but proves over time to be noble, true, of high quality and charitable.

The ordinary and the extraordinary ...

(I think I know where they got this idea, but I can't prove anything.)

It's probably worth clicking on the block quote just to read the comments. And now that I read this analysis, it very pointedly describes my own experience with both forms of the Roman Mass. Indeed, I probably couldn't explain it better, although the Book Club will be on my case tomorrow expecting me to give it a shot anyway. I have get one of the books first, though. I could even get one to read on my cell phone.

Ah, but where to begin?

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Being a gentleman that you are you must abide by Austenites obsession with reading the first written of her works.

That would be "Pride and Prejudice" with "Sense and Sensibility" being the first published.

When men finally break down their misconceptions about Austen, i.e. chick-stuff/love story etc, they are pleasantly surprised by her prose.

She leads men to understand women at their strongest and their weakest (both men and women) oddly enough. Her insights into human behavior puts even the best and brightest of modern day psychologists to shame.

Read Austen and be prepared to be so surprised that you will show up one night with a DVD from Blockbuster. Just make sure it's the BBC Masterpiece version with Colin Firth. Now if you are not ready for primetime, check out a terrific take from the fantasy realm with "Lost in Austen".

Either way, you will find yourself seeking out the Jane Austen Book Club striking your breast, whispering mea culpa, mea culpa...

Thanks for the terrific piece, David your take on it was certainly a little different and much more enjoyable than all the blogs that jumped on this piece like the dreadful Mr. Collins on the girls Bennet... LOL