Posted in History

Reading Notes, 12/28/20

bookshelf containing Pride and Prejudice
Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on

Finished Reading

Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

There is an infamous internet review of Pride and Prejudice (which I can’t find now) along the lines of “it’s just people visiting other people.” Reviewer ain’t wrong. Okay, it isn’t just about visiting. It is in fact about pride and prejudices and how first impressions and rumors can be wrong.

This was my first time reading P&P; I’m not much of an Austen fan. All of the Austen I have read previously was for college classes (not necessarily conducive to enjoying a text), but also, honestly, what she writes about doesn’t often appeal to me. I might have to be in the right mood—that mood apparently being the End of 2020.

I am struck by how modern Austen’s writing is here. I was reminded last night of E. T. A. Hoffmann, who is contemporary, and how clunky his writing is (though in translation). Mary Shelley and the other Gothic novels of this period I’ve read all have a much different style.

Deal Me In

Week 52:
5♦️ – “Full Circle” by Edith Wharton

Last story of the year and the last story of Edith Wharton’s Tales of Men and Ghosts, which I was reading for Classics Club. These haven’t been my favorites of Wharton’s stories. I was really hoping for more ghosts and fewer men… Wharton, when she’s dealing with the real world, is maybe a little too witty for my taste. These tales only really work if you read them in the voice of Joanne Woodward (having had my experience of Edith Wharton’s books scarred by Martin Scorsese). “Full Circle” was amusing though: a best-selling writer hires a down on his luck friend/rival to answer his fan mail…except his second book isn’t as well-received as his first. Hi-jinks ensue.

Currently Reading

I didn’t do much reading over the weekend so I’m still in the midst of The Christmas Party by Gillian St. Kevern. Next up will be Edgar Huntly or, Memoirs of a Sleep-Walker by Charles Brockden Brown for Classics Club. I started also a reread of The Call of Stories: Teaching and the Moral Imagination by Robert Coles on Sunday. I’m planning on this being my morning reading for a while.