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|I wonder whether it was very deliberate indeed
Written by Tom P2
(9/19/2010 10:35 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Did JA error in making Fanny So Timid?, penned by Patricia AA
Really? Modestly? Why is the omniscient narrator laying down such a clear and unequivocal qualifier? I'd normally expect JA to be more canny and subtle than that. When she puts a point of taste or judgment in such plain view, like when she refers to Mr Elton's broad handsome face in Emma ch13, I tend to take it as a sign that something's up.
In this case, I wonder whether she's taking an archetype - the virtuous, mild, put-upon character - and gently exaggerating for humorous effect. I wonder whether JA would have had a quiet satisfaction in knowing that many of her readers were solemnly taking Fanny at face value.
For a more overt example of the sort of 'exaggeration by adverb' I'm talking about, consider this excerpt from an A A Milne story:
"Pooh," said Rabbit kindly, "you haven't any brain."
I just have no sense of shame about subverting the poignancy Jeffrey referred to. Ever-so-humble Winnie the Pooh. Chuckle. Ever-so-modest Fanny Price. Chuckle.
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