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Thanks! -- Arnie Perlstein, Portland, OR

Saturday, February 15, 2014

I just found another imaginary character other than Mr. Perry in Emma and Nurse Rooke in Persuasion!

I just found another imaginary character in an Austen novel other than Emma or Persuasion!

And, as I reiterated for the umpteenth time in a post earlier today, that means, I found a significant character who may, OR MAY NOT, be imaginary, depending on which perspective you take on the passages about this character in the novel. Either reading is perfectly plausible.

Here are some giant hints.

He is a man,
He never speaks in the novel,
He is never described by any narration other than narration which can readily be read as the heroine's subjective perception, rather than clearly objective report of a fact,
He may or may not have ever actually been alive.

I found him out via Google--and you could do it too, very easily, if you were willing to go on the hypothesis that I am correct about Mr. Perry being an imaginary character during the action of Emma, and try to figure out how to use Google to find out if anyone else saw something strange about this character, just the way Wiltshire and Stafford saw something strange about Mr. Perry, but did not think far enough outside the box to realize what it meant.

This imaginary character is even more spectacular than Mr. Perry, actually, because the role this imaginary character plays in his novel is very similar to the role that "George Kaplan" plays in Hitchcock's North by Northwest.

And even I, an hour ago, never realized, it was only with the inadvertent help of another Austen scholar rendered a very long time ago, that I instantly understood Jane Austen's trick.  Just amazing!

While I am working on my post about this latest discovery of mine, I invite anyone to give it a go and guess the answer before I reveal it myself!

Cheers, ARNIE
@JaneAustenCode on Twitter

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