I really AM trying to be objective here, honest!
Posted by Mark on December 12, 1997 at 16:16:29:
In response to Why, thank you, a great one (read this one - easier to follow - sorry Amy!), written by MB on December 12, 1997 at 15:18:05
] Previous Michele
] ] ] I think it is both a love story AND a brilliant satire of manners and society. It's a love story in the same way that, say, Howard's End is a love story. Or that Gulliver's Travels is an adventure story. Or that Alice in Wonderland is a children's fantasy story. You can read it for plot and dialogue alone and enjoy it, love it even. But if you read between the lines, there is so much more. Treating it as either one or the other would be incomplete.
] ] You are so right! P&P transcends all the standard labels. It is sometimes fun to watch learned academic types try to pigeon hole it. They just never can't quite do it, no matter how hard they try. Jane Austen is just too smart for them.
] But, obviously, not for us, mi hermano....;-) ;-) ;-)
When Leonard Bernstein took the New York Philharmonic to China in conjunction with Nixon's opening it up, he played a concert featuring various selections from Western Music. Remember that China had been closed to any Western influences for over a generation. This was an audience not "trained" to appreciate good music.
He played a wide range of selections from Beethoven, Mozart, all the biggies. All the orchestra received for their efforts was short, polite applause. Then they struck up John Phillip Sousa's "The Stars and Stripes Forever". The audience first began to smile, then grin, then tap their feet, then clap in time with the music. They finished to thunderous applause.
There are certain works of art that transcend greatness. They become immortal. It doesn't matter what your background or taste may be. They speak to you. The ironic thing is that the "knowledgeable" critics tend to pan these works. They go on to identify other, more esoterical works as the truly great ones. But the vast majority of the populace is content in leaving the "in-crowd" with their ideals and continue to flock to the immortals.
I would argue that "Pride and Prejudice" belongs to that very exclusive club of books that transcend greatness into immortality. Calling P&P a romance, or a satire, or a social comedy, or a social commentary is like calling the "Hallelujah Chorus" a choir number. It just doesn't quite do it, does it?
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