Friday, February 29, 2008

Desperately Seeking Jane

(originally posted 02/21/08)

Flattery is the sincerest form of imitation…wait…or is it the other way around? What is it about seeing, hearing, watching, reading something that someone else has done really well that makes us think that we can master it just as easily, if not more easily than the master him- or her- self? How many times have you heard this one: "My KID can do better than that!" Yes, your little Jenny Genius probably could…but then if that were the case, you wouldn't be going to work tomorrow, you'd be out exploiting your child on Oprah.

Not-so-slightly-veiled immature neener-neener aside, I've just re-read (for the umpteenth time) Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice and I wonder (amazement, not curiosity) at the complexity of this seemingly simple story. Good people are good – simple, clear, easy. Bad people are bad, but not so prematurely defined: reasons are given, excuses made, but in the end, overall verdict: not-so-good. Humor and tragedy are played out in the seemingly simplest way possible. And I think, as we all have at some point, I can do this! I can say "not very pleased" to mean "really pissed off" and I can make the cruel and mean look silly and ridiculous if viewed with a clear heart…but no. Within the space of an hour a girl that never left home, never experienced ¼ of the things in life that women of HER time, let alone mine, have experienced, a woman that died at the age that I am now has left me awkwardly flailing in the ditch of the English language, drowning in banalities, grasping desperately for a metaphor that hasn't been already trampled to death. Well done, her! Back to short, witty…uh…written…um…things for me.

Perhaps if I wore a muslin gown instead of a fuzzy robe & bunny slippers?

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