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|Not just one man's journey
Written by Natchie
(8/5/2013 7:44 p.m.)
Deresiewicz combined two themes in his book. I'll admit that when I ordered my copy, I hoped it wouldn't be too superficial. It isn't at all. He intertwines his two themes. One is about his early life through about his thirties, but mainly as this is influenced by his reading Jane Austen's six novels. His career choice was in the realm of literary analysis and criticism and teaching literature on the college and graduate level. In telling us how Austen's books dramatically changed him, he also does insightful analysis into the novels at the same time. I was fascinated by this interplay.
The author is brutally honest with himself, which is not usually typical of men. I was quite amazed at how clearly he described his former way of behaving and speaking (with plenty of interesting examples)as he lets the reader also in how he changed. It didn't happen all in a moment, either. It took time and many reading of the novels, but once he got the hang of how Austen was operating as a novelist and teaching him, he began to see parallels in his life through her most excellent character and situation portrayals.
Deresiewidz has brought me insight into the novels that I had not picked up on my own reading of them. Most reviewers of the paperback on Amazon liked the book. The few who didn't said his insights were too "obvious." Well, if you are not in the know about how things work socially, nothing is "obvious." So maybe it's just us social klutzes that would dig Deresiewicz. I was very curious about his book, and I found it extremely helpful, both in understanding Austen and in understanding me!
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