With all due respect to Jane Austen, I’m skipping over a lot of words in the final chapters of Mansfield Park. I’ve gone so far as to cut to the chase by reading the final paragraphs. Miss Crawford’s letters read like the nineteenth century version of the gossip columns in People-type websites – therefore, nothing new under the sun in that regard. As for sweet Fanny, boring Edmund and what’s-his-name, may they thrive and prosper, I suppose. As I suppose their real-life counterparts did.
Mrs Norris appears in the pages best to my liking. You get some of the pepper in Jane’s character in her dead-on take on a self-centered, miserly busy body. There’s vim and vigor in the writing. You can almost feel Jane Austen sitting at one end of a room, observing the proceedings. Compared to that, Fanny’s endless goodness depresses the hell out of me.
Good morning to another Monday. Catch-up on phone and email messages (read something yesterday about people checking their messages during moments of…uh, intimacy? Am I the only person who turns off her phone when she doesn’t want to be disturbed?True, I only mastered the text messaging function on the thing yesterday so that puts me squarely in the dodo realm. Fine by me.)
Story: an ornery business. Ongoing. Ornery proves way more interesting to me than – oy – the man at yesterday’s Sunday market whose pick-up line was: “Are you single? I am. Do you come to the market every Sunday? At what time?” Old age and singleness as defining traits for attraction??? (Single? Yes, and happily so, I answered. Market? Yes, but I don’t keep to regular hours. And a goodly day to you. He didn’t strike me as a reader or I would have recommended Mansfield Park in French translation.)
Monday. Lots to do.