Sunday, November 13, 2011

Persuasion by Jane Austen

The fourth Austen novel I've read this year, Persuasion follows Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, and Emma. Persuasion was Austen's last novel, and her only one featuring a heroine who is far past her youth.  The novel has great merit as a love story with social commentary, and while Austen's comedic sense is at times apparent,  the overall effect is not as humorous as that of Pride and Prejudice or Sense and Sensibility.

Although I've heard critiques of Austen on the basis that she is a product of her time, the complaint is both obvious and disingenuous. Austen could no more write from the viewpoint of a postmodern feminist than I could write from a viewpoint that will be common in 2315 CE. I personally find it valuable to have access to works written from earlier viewpoints. It would be difficult, if not impossible, to understand history without authentic documents, which include letters, biographies, newspapers and, of course, works of fiction.

No comments: