By Richard Jenkyns
Jane Austen's paintings used to be a real triumph of the comedian spirit--of deep comedy, emerging from the guts of human lifestyles. In A positive Brush on Ivory, Richard Jenkyns takes us on an amiable journey of Austen's fictional global, starting a window on many of the nice works of global literature. Focusing principally on Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, and Emma, yet with many diverting aspect journeys to Austen's different novels, Jenkyns shines a loving mild at the beautiful craftsmanship and profound ethical mind's eye that informs her writing. Readers will locate, for example, a superb dialogue of characterization in Austen. Jenkyns's perception into figures resembling Mr. Bennett or Mrs. Norris is brilliant--particularly his portrait of the fun, smart, continuously ironic Mr. Bennett, whose humor (Jenkyns exhibits) arises out of a deeply unsatisfied and disappointing marriage. the writer will pay due homage to Austen's unrivaled ability with complicated plotting--the good looks with which the first plot and a number of the subplots are woven together--highlighting the countless care she took to make each one plot aspect as typical and as believable as attainable. probably most vital, Jenkyns illuminates the center of Austen's ethical mind's eye: she is consistently acutely aware, all through her works, of the nearness of evil to the comfy social floor. She understands that the socially appropriate sins should be really merciless and cruel, is aware that society should be purple in enamel and claw, and but she permits the pleasures of comedy and social gathering to subordinate them. Insightful and hugely exciting, A tremendous Brush on Ivory captures the spirit and originality of Jane Austen's paintings. will probably be a adored memento or reward for her many enthusiasts.
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Extra info for A Fine Brush on Ivory: An Appreciation of Jane Austen
Part of her effect lies in the counterpoint between the archetypal simplicity of the underlying pattern and the sophistication of what is built upon it. A sense of the archetype's simplicity may also help us to appreciate the subtlety with which she varies the basic pattern. These are variations both of form and ethos; indeed part of her art, at its most assured, is to use formal variation as a means of making ethos. Thus the distinctive feature of Pride and Prejudice is the number of its subplots, knit into one another with confident mastery.
Her death is not in fact essential to the plot: it would have been easy enough to find another way of freeing Frank to marry Jane Fairfax. —His aunt dies . "'). In many novels—including some of the very best—we may feel that the business of wrapping up the plot is more of a challenge to the author than a pleasure. His denouement may be competent, even skilful, he may make appropriate gestures of closure (Jane Austen makes some jokes about such processes at the end of Northanger Abbey), yet one may sense that this is not where the writer's heart is.
This book does suggest the importance of social duty and presents some idea of what constitutes a good society (though, as I shall argue, it does not advocate the cosy paternalism often attributed to it). The individual happiness of Emma and Knightley will also contribute to the well-being of their community; Knightley, the virtuous landowner devoted to the welfare of those around him, is indeed a pattern of the good gentleman, as lazy, selfish Mr Woodhouse is an example of the bad gentleman. But it is essential to understand that the study of the individual in relation to his or her community distinguishes Emma from the other works in the canon.
A Fine Brush on Ivory: An Appreciation of Jane Austen by Richard Jenkyns