Thursday, September 29, 2005
my new action figure
As a kid, I never really cared for playing with dolls. Yes, I did have Donny and Marie dolls and insisted on having my room painted purple (and wore purple socks way too often). Yet, playing dolls just seemed boring to me. My younger brother, Jerry, didn't really have dolls either. He did have action figures - I remember He-Man specifically.
I thought I was very long past these things - until I was out shopping with my friend KK the other day (while she was visiting up in the area). I found a Jane Austen action figure. My favorite author! I have read each one of her novels - Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Northanger Abbey, Emma, Mansfield Park, and Persuasion. I have read P & P more than any of the others - it must be close to 20 times. And each time I have read it, I have discovered something else new and delightful. Each phrase and sentence is just perfect. Austen packs a whollop with every line! I have read Emma about 10 times. I have read the others at least twice each. The woman was just a writing genius. She could convey so much, so compactly, and with such clarity - it is amazing.
I recall one of my college classmates in our Victorian Lit class. Carita was really down on Austen. She blamed her for not dealing with problems in the larger world - for just sticking with domestic issues for genteel women. Yet, do not all the world's problems come down to human nature? And what writer has displayed a greater understanding of human nature and human interaction?
Some interesting facts on Austen (from my Jane Austen action figure!)
* born Dec 16, 1775; died July 18, 1817
* lived in England her whole life
* never married
* has had over 40 sequels to P & P written by other authors
I think I'll place my new action figure near the Cretan snake goddess in my office. Attired a little differently, yes, but both strong female images.