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|Double standard for the "personal"
Written by Jenny Allan
(11/2/2005 12:03 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Claudia L. Johnson's "Unfeudal Tone" (long - sorry!), penned by Line
I think it's a bit harsh, but for a different reason. I think it devalues art and fiction which is personal and autobiographical, to look on it as some how lesser art than that which is wholly fiction. Do we automatically take that which is of the intellect as superior to that based on experience? If so then the "greatness" of novelists like Joyce would be called on the carpet, constantly. I think she's making a bit of a straw men out of male critics who might have dismissed Persuasion because it lacks the same edginess of her earlier work. (I disagree vehemently with such criticism, as well, seeing Persuasion as an evolution in Austen's style.) I think we need to see more specific examples to argue credibly either for or against them.
She does raise some excellent points that a) Anne has no feeling of family responsibility and that b) Wentworth has disdain for the sort weak-willed picture of feminine attraction.
Interesting essay that impresses upon me the need to pick up an NCE of Persausion. Thank, Line.
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