WARNING: Ripping Book Reviews are solely the judgments of Professor VJ Duke on an unlucky book that has caused him much repulsion—in one way or another. Therefore, blame must be put on the author and nobody else. With that in mind, read on—if you are brave enough to take it.
PRIDE AND PREJUDICE by COLIN FIR…err…JANE AUSTEN
You must understand that the professor rips the following book out of duty. Mr. Mark Twain tried to read Pride and Prejudice, but he had a hard time of it. Consequently, then, we were left without a good ripping.
The professor had a hard time of it too. But I persevered.
Of course, the novel also caused repulsion, which sets it up beautifully for a ripping.
But before we begin, the professor must make something clear.
You see, Austen likes to deal in obscurity quite frequently. Whether this is because she doesn’t know what she wants to say, or because she is trying to be clever, I’m not sure.
But I would guess it’s the former.
Thus, we will encounter Austen Obscurity in this review.
So, let us begin, unhindered and unrepentant.
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.
This particular sentence has always interested the professor. It is quite commonly trumpeted about as if it is truly something special.
Well, it’s not.
Perhaps I err.
Maybe it is special; after all, I’m almost sure no one else could come up with so much dadblamery in one sentence.
It would be hard.
It would be a gift.
You see, the sentence is just…wrong, and plumb dishonest!
I’m sure there are many men in possession of a good fortune who are not in want of a wife, and that there are many men in possession of a good fortune who are in want of many wives.
Of course, though, Austen could be voicing how her characters feel about the matter.
Which might be true.
And this would make some sense, since all of Austen’s characters are dull to the point of so many tears the ocean would look dry.
You see, all of the characters are…dumb enough to believe such a thing. That’s what the professor is trying to say.
But I believe it’s none of the above. What Austen meant to say becomes clear at the end of the novel. Why she didn’t go back and revise, the professor isn’t sure.
This is how it should read:
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single woman in possession of not much at all, must be in want of a husband who is very wealthy and obnoxious.
It makes much more sense that way, I think.
Now the paragraph that follows that sentence is a real hike. It’s a bit hard to understand on the first read.
It’s Austen Obscurity.
However little known the feelings or views of such a man may be on his first entering a neighbourhood, [yes, it’s misspelled] this truth is so well fixed in the minds of the surrounding families, that he is considered the rightful property of some one or other of their daughters.
In truth, I almost fainted after the opening sentence coupled with that…that, but what comes next is slightly amusing.
“My dear Mr. Bennet,” said his lady to him one day…
Now that’s an interest.
I wonder where poor Mr. Bennet’s wife is…
Of course, though, his lady might be his wife. Another example of Austen Obscurity.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with obscurity—when you’re clever about it, that is.
The scene: A party.
And this is what Bingley says to Darcy:
… “Upon my honour, I never met with so many pleasant girls in my life, as I have this evening; and there are several of them you see uncommonly pretty.”
Another interest. You see, Bingley is supposed to be good natured—but he’s not. Lurking beneath the surface is a monster.
I would have asked which girls, in particular, he found ugly or just pretty. Aha! That would have been a great Darcy comeback.
But Darcy isn’t too clever. You see, he ends up marrying someone who is, in his own words:
“…tolerable; but not handsome enough to tempt me…”
Not too clever at all.
And then after the party, we’re privy to a scene.
Elizabeth and Jane are speaking about a gentleman when Elizabeth says:
“He is also handsome,” replied Elizabeth, “which a young man ought likewise to be, if he possibly can…”
If he possibly can? I wonder how she purposes they go about controlling it.
Maybe Austen secretly wished to able to control how she looked too. We don’t know.
And we better not think on it.
That’s about it for now.
You see, I can’t take anymore—even though there’s so much still to rip.
Perhaps the professor will return to it some day in the future for duty’s sake.
Or justice’s sake.