Not even here is here
Posted by Helen on January 29, 1998 at 11:09:38:
In response to Are we here?, written by Patrick on January 28, 1998 at 17:09:03
I think we need to ditch the roses... put them in a vase somewhere and move on...
] New Patrick:
] It isn't so much that it cannot apply to P&P as that it does not apply. It is simply my view that JA's point was not about balance. It was about passion. She talked about passion very politely. But the polite form is largely irrelevant. The passion is what stays with us. Me, anyway.
Would you like to go back to the P&P board and tell us why? Because for me, the passion and the polite form in which it is conveyed are linked together intrinsically. JA chose to write in this particular style. She could have given us the passion a la Mrs Radcliffe, Walter Scott, or even Byron. I think Caroline is right: information about the world in which she lived is very relevant here. For instance, you say elsewhere that even the marriage of Elizabeth and Darcy is not fundamental to the special nature of their relationship. But I can think of several other novels written during this period about extra-marital relationships which enjoyed publication, and other women who would be quite happy to see all marriage abolished as a social form which gets in the way of relationships between individuals. So the valorisation of marriage in her novels (ie. all her protagonists get a happy wedding), again, is a deliberate decision on her part.
Now I'm going to make a plea: please, please please please please can we not get into the question of objective reality? If we do, we may as well all throw up our hands and go home. There is no such thing as objective reality. It does not exist. Or if it does, we can't prove it. For meaningful debate to take place, we have to assume that it does, that we are sharing some form of rules of communication and relation of that communication to "real objects". We have to make assumptions, and yet negotiate the cracks in those assumptions when they appear - and this is something which, dare I say, human beings are very good at doing instinctively. When we think about doing it, we fall apart. For instance, how do we have a "shared reality" at Pemberley? It is buoyed up by our assumption that we share the rules, but when it becomes apparent that people perceive them differently, we are able to sort out some kind of bridge, eg, I hope, the incident before Christmas, otherwise I presume you wouldn't still be posting here. But once we start to think about the construction of meaningful discourse through the medium of cyberspace, we will start to talk gibberish within about 3 minutes (I have read various academic articles on the subject and they collapse in a welter of theory in no time - no offence to anyone who can lay claim to any legible writing on the subject, which I obviously haven't encountered ;-) ).
So on this point, I am definitely in agreement with you: when it comes to the question of reality, go with the instincts. Forget the analysis (unless you're a philosopher... Erin gets generous dispensation from this rule ;-) )
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