"Pictures of perfection, as you know, make me sick & wicked"

- Jane Austen
"Jane Austen is weirdly capable of keeping everybody busy. The moralists, the Eros-and-Agape people, the Marxists, the Freudians, the Jungians, the semioticians, the deconstructors - all find an adventure playground in six samey novels about middle-class provincials. And for every generation of critics, and readers, her fiction effortlessly renews itself."

- Martin Amis, in The New Yorker

Monday, July 28, 2008

An Excerpt From "Love and Friendship"

(or as Jane spelled it Love and Freindship), one of her early manuscript works, and being able to write with such skill at such an early age is why we are all still Addicted to Jane Austen.

One evening in December, as my Father, my Mother and myself, were arranged in social converse round our fireside, we were on a sudden, greatly astonished, by hearing a violent knocking on the outward Door of our rustic Cot.

My Father started - "What noise is that," (said he.) "It sounds like a loud rapping at the door" - (replied my Mother.) "It does indeed." (cried I.) " I am of your opinion; (said my Father) it certainly does appear to proceed from some uncommon violence exerted against our unoffending door." "Yes (exclaimed I) I cannot help thinking it must be somebody who knocks for admittance."

"That is another point (replied he;) We must not pretend to determine on what motive the person may knock - though that someone does rap at the door, I am partly convinced."

Here, a second tremendous rap interrupted my Father in his speech and somewhat alarmed my Mother and me.

"Had we not better go and see who it is? (said she) the servants are out." "I think we had." (replied I.) "Certainly, (added my Father) by all means." "Shall we go now?" (said my Mother,) "The sooner the better" (answered he). "Oh let no time be lost (cried I).

A third more violent Rap than ever again assaulted our ears. "I am certain there is somebody knocking at the door." (said my Mother.) "I think there must," (replied my Father.) "I fancy the servants are returned; (said I) I think I hear Mary going to the door." "I am glad of it (cried my Father) for I long to know who it is."'

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