Posts Tagged 'JANE AUSTEN'

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So, the professor was in a bookstore.

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And I was wearing jeans, a sports coat, and red shoes. (That’s important.)

Also, my eyes were shielded from the blinding book lights, by great sunglasses. #cool

All in all, I was in spy-mode.

Now, the funny thing was this: A chap came half walking, half sprinting towards me. His goal: the restroom. And he was wearing jeans and red shoes, too! (Boogie-wu.)

Amazing. I didn’t dwell on it, though.

See, I was looking about. From book to book.

Picking one up, then throwing it away just as quickly as I had picked it up–if it didn’t suit my fancy, which many didn’t.

I was getting into the process, too, when I was approached by a disgruntled older man.

“What’s the idea?!” he hollered in my face, swinging a book back and forth.

“Excuse me a few hundred times?” How dare he?

“You think slop like this is acceptable?!”

And he threw a book down on the table:

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“Ohhhh…” I said.

“Yeah!” he stormed. “Exactly. How dare you! Jane Austen wasn’t respected in her day, and she sure is [bleep] respected now, is she? How dare you!”

I was quite shocked, I must admit.

A male Jane Austen fan? Wonder of wonders!!

“Look here,” I said, “I’m surprised you like JA. But you’ll be pleased to learn this fact: I didn’t write that book.”

And I nodded a few times.

His face grew redder.

“Do you think I’m an idiot?”

“You mean because you read Jane Austen? No need to feel that way.”

“Let me make myself clear–“

“Please,” I interrupted, “’cause you’re sorta cloudy at the minute.”

Glare.

“How dare you carry this book in your store! It’s idiot small business owners, like yourself, who let this kinda thing happen!”

“I’m the owner?”

That caught him for a second. He paused, even.

“The woman at the front said I’d find you back here… You and your horribly, ugly red shoes. That’s what she said.”

I just stared at him; he stared at me, still glowering.

Owner? Wow. I could play with this.

But then, the chap who came sprinting to the restrooms earlier came out of the restroom. I looked at his red shoes, then understood.

“He’s the chap you want,” I said.

And I made my getaway.

Moral: Don’t wear red shoes when the owner of a bookstore is wearing red shoes.

Lesson: Not learned

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Ripping Book Review—So Big

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.

SO BIG by EDNA FERBER

In truth, the professor wasn’t going to rip this book. In truth this is true.

But, as fate would have it, I opened the dadblame thing, and this is the first sentence I read:

The girl put her dollar plumply back into her purse.

A new perspective was born.

Immediately.

And it was born with some repulsion.

I must admit, the professor is still trying to work out how a dollar could be placed plumply anywhere.

Perhaps it’s—oh, rats and a heifer! We all know it’s dadblamery!

Moving on.

The story follows Selina Peake DeJong, which is an interest—and not only because of the name. You see, the book is named after her kid, Dirk.

Apparently, Selina would torture the young Dirk with the questions, “How big is baby? How big is my man?”

To which the boy would reply, “So-o-o-o big!”

It was a trap. And Sobig became Dirk’s nickname. And he hated it eventually.

Rather a silly way to go about naming a book, I think.

Nothing much happens in the novel—which is a supreme wonder. The book is too thick to pull that sort of trick. Plus, it’s a low-down sort of trick.

In fact, after reading the novel, the professor would have rather followed Dirk’s life. It would have been much more interesting than Selina’s.

I think.

I hope.

I’m not sure.

Now, here is an interest [quoted from the novel]:

It was after reading “Pride and Prejudice” that she [Selina] decided to be the Jane Austen of her time. She became very mysterious and enjoyed a brief period of unpopularity at Miss Fister’s owing to her veiled allusions to her “work”; and an annoying way of smiling to herself and tapping a ruminative toe as though engaged in visions far too exquisite for the common eye.

You see, at first the professor thought that Selina meant she wanted to be an author—like Jane Austen presumably was. (There’s much debate on that subject.)

But the professor was in error.

Selina wanted to be like Jane Austen by copying her attitude!

It makes perfect sense.

For instance, after deciding to be the Jane Austen of her time, Selina did the following:

(1) She became mysterious. (Had she decided to take up the pen, Selina would most definitely have written something quite akin to—and disturbingly similar to—Austen Obscurity.)

(2) She enjoyed a brief period of unpopularity. (Jane Austen enjoyed such things all the time.)

(3) And we learn something new about Jane Austen. She apparently had an annoying habit of tapping a ruminative toe as if engaged in visions far too exquisite for the common person. (How one can have a ruminative—deeply thinking—toe is beyond the professor. It’s a bummer.) Maybe her visions had to do with Darby [i.e. Darcy]. In that case, it’s not wonder she kept it a secret.

I fear that was the most enjoyable part of the novel. The book does prattle on for a good long while.

Longer than necessary.

And longer than what is fair.

Ripping Book Review–Pride and Prejudice

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…

His lady?

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.

Moving on.

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.

 


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