Oct. 20th, 2016

neadods: (madmaninnabox)
The 2016 Jane Austen Society of North America's Annual General Meeting (technically "JASNA AGM," for which read "Austaramacon") started off with a bang last night.

Technically the main speaker was the always entertaining Ken Ludwig, who did have some very interesting things to say about how Austen was not known to have access to many comic novels (as opposed to novels she laughed at, like, say, the entire gothic genre) but had a wealth of great Shakespearean and Restoration comedies to draw on to develop her own humorous style. You could feel the Mansfield Park fans snap to attention when he pointed out that two of the great Shakespearean actresses she would have known about were Mrs. Crawford and Mrs. Yeats.

But The! Most! Entertaining! people, possibly of the entire weekend, were the Dr.s Janine Barchas and Kristina Straub, the two curators of Will and Jane: The Culture of Celebrity at the Folger. What could have been a dry and shy discussion of the artifacts was instead a rollicking rip through history, culture, and opinion. "We thought because there were so many of the gilt Hotspurs that they were important. No, the Folgers just collected EVERYTHING to do with Shakespeare" and "If it looks like a tacky duck and it flies like a tacky duck... it's tacky" and (my favorite) "We call them the vaginal Richards."

Click on the cut because you KNOW know you want to know more about that phrase! )

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