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Thanks! -- Arnie Perlstein, Portland, OR

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Rachel Brownstein's Recantation of Feminist Reading of Jane Austen in Why Jane Austen

In Janeites and Austen L, Christy Somer brought forward the following quote from Rachel Brownstein's recent book _Why Jane Austen_:

"If Austen’s class and gender position informed her perspective as a writer -and it did- her genius made that perspective singular.The unique specificity of that genius -its distinctiveness and distinction- is what the novels most importantly convey. To read them for truths about the author's personal life and times, or wisdom about the readers own, is to read through or around or past them: the project is, finally, beside her point or mine…”

I find it fascinating that Brownstein has recanted (in the passage quoted above) her earlier feminist readings of Austen's novels, and I now suspect she might not be the only one who has done so. What will be very interesting to me will be to see the reaction of Brownstein, and of those who have followed her path, to the evidence I will bring forward in my book, to see if my argument causes any of them to recant their recantation. I look forward to that intellectual debate.

Cheers, ARNIE

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