Saturday, May 02, 2009

Mark Twain on Jane Austen

There's a highly entertaining review in the LA Times of a new collection of previously uncollected Mark Twain stories and essays. Definitely worth a read in its entirety, but I particularly liked these bits:

Twain, though an unbeliever, was one of the first American cultural observers to intuit that the country's great problem was not religion per se but a surfeit of religiosity.

I immediately picture Flannery and her peacocks...

And this, on Jane Austen, made me laugh:

Austen, Twain muses, seems to spend the first half of every book getting you to "detest" her characters and the second half convincing you to like them.

Marvellous! The great artificiality of so much writing, explained in one easy sentence.

1 comment:

Kathryn said...

You can find more about the book here: http://theharperstudio.com/authorsandbooks/marktwain

Also, if you want to dive into the world of Twain, check out http://twainia.com There we have fun trivia, videos, and a writing contest! Care to see if you're the next Mark Twain? Submit an ending to one of Twain's unfinished short stories by May 31st and see if you can win some awesome prizes!