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Thanks! -- Arnie Perlstein, now living in "Portlandia"!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Breakout sessions at Portland Oregon JASNA AGM Halloween weekend 2010

The breakout session schedule for the upcoming AGM has just been posted at the JASNA website:

http://www.jasna.org/agms/portland/breakout.html

I hope those of you who choose to attend the AGM in Portland over Halloween weekend will also choose to attend my talk, which will take place during Session C (which I believe will be the first of the sessions that will occur on Saturday). Here is the description of my talk at the AGM website:

*//*"Remember the country and age in which we live": The Covert Death-in-childbirth Anti-parody in Northanger Abbey": Perlstein makes the case that death in childbirth was the real horror behind General Tilney and all the husbands of England whom he represents. While Perlstein is noted for “reading against the grain” to discover the “shadow” stories in Austen’s novels, this is sure to be a participatory session suited to the lively wit of our members."

I will do my best to fulfill that buildup--if you are skeptical about my claims that there are shadow stories in JA's novels, I urge you to come hear my talk, because this particular presentation will be one of my strongest cases for one of my shadow story interpretations, and I will be able to make the case convincingly in the time allotted, because, unlike many other examples from Austen's shadow stories, this one is not that complicated to explain and prove---which lack of complication does not make it any less important, however, in terms of understanding why Jane Austen wrote shadow stories in the first place. Quite the contrary, it goes to the heart of her motivations, I will show.

I also note that the active participants in Janeites and Austen-L will be well represented, with not only myself, but also Ellen Moody and Elvira Casals, as breakout presenters.

From my quick scan of all the other presenters's topics, it seems to me that there will be a strong overall awareness at the AGM that things are not at all as they seem in Northanger Abbey, especially in relation to the Gothic subtext. It is my guess that a simplistic "NA as Gothic parody" interpretation, which is standard fare at sites like the Republic of Pemberley, will seldom be heard at the AGM.

It turns out that Northanger Abbey, despite its junior status in the minds of most Janeites, in part encouraged by the self-deprecating tone of the novel itself, is in every way is worthy of a seat at the table of genius alongside all the other five novels.

So the AGM should be both great fun and also very enlightening for all who attend and participate.

Cheers, ARNIE

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