Friday, August 20, 2004

Damn you, Jane Austen

I have a confession to make. I got distracted from my work last night by a Jane Austen novel. I told myself “just one chapter, and then back to work.” Yeah, right. Four hours, two teabags, and jar of Nutella later I was weeping and breathless as I read the words in Captain Wentworth’s letter to Anne, “You pierce my soul.” Yes, I know that Austen’s novels are formulaic. They all have the same 8 characters, the same plot twists, and the same endings. But Christ, it’s a good formula. I fell asleep last night dreaming that Edward Ferrars, Mr. Darcy, and Fredrick Wentworth would all knock on my door at the same moment, simultaneously professing, in elegant, early 19th C. rhetoric, their undying devotion to my figure, sensibility, and character. And I awoke this morning to a demanding cat with a foot-fetish, a torrential down-pour, and the knowledge that my dissertation is due in, um, 20 days?, and I wasted all last night fantasizing about useless, rich, well-spoken gentlemen. Crap. Back to work.

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