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Thanks! -- Arnie Perlstein, Portland, OR

Friday, May 9, 2014

P.S. re The Lizzy Show in Pride & Prejudice

In my latest post, I revealed that, in the shadow story of Pride & Prejudice, Mrs. Reynolds has been lying, lying, and lying some more to Lizzy about  Darcy.

My friend Diane Reynolds, who is a very sharp elf indeed, wrote the following in Austen-L and Janeite in response:  "Yes, indeed, I can see very clearly a third reading I had not perceived in which Darcy gets himself introduced to the Gardiners in London and prevails upon them to manage getting Lizzy to Pemberton."

Diane, get ready for the fourth knife edge---Darcy and Mr. Gardiner go back a LOOOOOOOOONG way..... don't you see? Who grew up in Lambton (a small country village, where everybody knew everybody), and has been married to Mr. Gardiner for many years??????????????????????? ;)

Diane: "It all works amazingly well: the sudden change of plans from visiting the Lakes, even though Lizzie thought they could still manage it--and once again, characteristically, we are led to believe Lizzie is being unrealistic, but what if she wasn't?--Mrs. Gardiner's pushy insistence that they visit Pemberley, Mr. Gardiner's lingering to watch the trout, Mrs. Gardiner's tiredness, undercut by her ability to go out that evening, yes, it all works."

Yes. yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. It is a beautiful thing, and it would amaze me that others didn't seen it before i did. But then I realize, it was decoding Emma's shadow story that prepared me to decode P&P's.

Diane: "In that case, Mrs. Gardiner's asides to Lizzie become Shakespearean --they are part of the joke in which she already has met Darcy but is teasing Elizabeth. This is dramatic irony taken to a new level, in which neither the character nor the reader knows what is going on."

You are so right--just recall the scene in Much Ado About Nothing in which Beatrice is tricked into thinking Benedick is only pretending to dislike her. ;)

Diane: "Now my question is, is Lydia's elopement part of the plot? "

Of course! Did you really think that Lydia just blurts out Darcy's attendance at her wedding? She was playing her part in the Lizzy Show as well.

And there's more....but that's for another time.

It's a beautiful thing.

 @JaneAustenCode on Twitter

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