pride and prejudice

15 Oct

is a novelist with an extremely narrow focus that extends, surprisingly, into a wide range of concerns. Her books can be viewed most simply as eerily good romance novels, more broadly as sharp critiques of nineteenth-century vanity, cruelty and folly, and–broadest of all–as an indictment of a social system and economic system dedicated to the marginalization and commodification of a full half of the human experience.

This is the important point to remember about classic literature–the reason why it even became classic in the first place: classic works can be read simply because they’re enjoyable to read, simply because when truth and insight are added to fiendish complexity of plot and a strong capacity for wit, the results are rarely dry fodder for academics. The results are faithful, engrossing portraits of life: satisfying even in their narrowness, ultimately satisfying perhaps because of their narrowness.

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