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Thanks! -- Arnie Perlstein, Portland, OR

Sunday, September 26, 2010

It ain't me, babe

Jeannie Lugo wrote the following about me ("another poster") in the Janeites group:

"I begin to wonder of Ed and another poster who is also prone to insults are not the same person. The quick jump from civility to insults-- really, the rest of us are "drinking the Kool-Aid"? -- is a very familiar pattern here."

Jeannie, for the record:

1. Eddy Boyle (or whoever he--or she--really may be, I have no idea, I have had no personal contact with him) is NOT me. I am only aware of one person from the Janeite world who has ever engaged in the highly disturbing behavior of assuming false online personas, and I have absolulely no idea if Eddy Boyle is a pseudonym for that person.

If anything is clear to people reading along in any of the Austen venues where I participate, it is that I speak forthrightly about what I really think, under my own name.

2. There have been a number of people who have disagreed with me over the past 5 years in Janeites, but YOU are the only one who has done so--and not once, but on a number of occasions--in an insulting, crude, personal and at times ugly way--and your post, quoted above, is a perfect illustration of an unprovoked slur based on nothing but your own ill will toward me. In stark contrast to you, I think of David Stevenson and Victoria Lansburgh as Janeites who disagree with me in every way about interpretation of JA's novels, and yet neither of them has ever been anything other than unfailingly polite to me.

If I wanted to revisit unpleasant experiences, I would go back into the archives of Janeites and come back with quotes of vivid examples of your personal attacks on me, but why bother? Physician, heal thyself, is my own reply to you.

3. It would also appear that your unprovoked outburst against me has been triggered in part by the role model of Christy and myself so consistently agreeing to disagree in recent weeks, even where our disagreements are very profound, about Jane Austen--including Christy's latest post to me, within the past few hours.

And I will continue to politely agree to disagree with anyone in Janeites who engages with my ideas in a polite way, and I will also continue to ignore those posts where that is not possible.

But I could not allow your personal slur on me to go unanswered, and hope that henceforth you will restrain yourself.


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