So in my English Lit class, we're gearing up to begin reading Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. I was a bit apprehensive at first as I'm, quite honestly, not as strongly read in 17th century British Literature as I would like to be. Truth be told, I prefer American Literature (from all periods), Elizabethan Drama, Victorian British Literature, and the Modern Irish writers (Joyce, Wilder, et al...) to 17th century romantic lit. It's just a preference, you know?
With that said, I can honestly say I never went out of my way to read any of Austen's works. I just never got around to it, although I knew I should have...
So, as I need this class and an A in it to help my grad school chances, I decided I'd better get a jump on the reading, especially considering it is a largish sort of book. My decision to get a good read in beforehand is also motivated by the fact that my professor's passion and specific field of study focuses on the emergence of the novel specifically as it pertains to 17th century literature. When she mentions the upcoming Austen section of the syllabus, I can see her get all dreamy eyed and wistful. I suspect she masturbates to Pride and Prejudice.
So, anyhow - I started reading Pride and Prejudice and it is with all of the motivations previously mentioned borne in mind that I have this to say...
Dear dark pagan gods! Please strike me dead!
This is horrible! Hell is a room where one is forced to read Jane Austen for all eternity, without the benefit of alcohol or a gun with which to shoot oneself in the eye. I would prefer screwing a large caliber .45 into one of my eye sockets and pulling the bang switch with my booger hook than having to sit throught the next 45 or so chapters of this shite!
"He is just what a young man ought to be," said she, "sensible, good humoured, lively; and I never saw such happy manner! - so much ease, with such perfect good breeding!"
"He is also handsome," replied Elizabeth, "which a young man ought likewise to be, if he can possibly can. His character is thereby complete."
"I was very much flattered by his asking me to dance a second time. I did not expect such a compliment."
And on an on and on and on...
It's like an episode of MTV's My Super Sweet Sixteen, only with better diction. Same nattering, self absorbed brats - - but better scripting.
That sound you hear? Yeah, that's me screaming in agony.
Reading 17th century British romantic literature is the literary equivalent of having someone dose your drink with a roofie. You're out, having a good time with your friends, and then you pick up Jane Austen. You start reading as you take a sip on your Jameson's and soda and the next thing you know you find yourself waking up bleary eyed, confused, and inexplicably naked in a shabby hotel bed. After checking that your kidneys haven't been cut out - you look around in shame and confusion, not understanding how you got there, but knowing in that dirty, violated way that you will most likely need to go to the hospital for the inevitable rape kit. Later that night, after showering three or four times you scrub your skin raw to get the horrible touch of Austen's inane social prattle off of your skin. Eventually, you turn off the shower, get off of the bottom of the tub where you were curled up in shame, and stagger to the toilet. When you pee, fire ants come out.
No, wait... I'd prefer that to reading this dreck.