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! )
neadods: (sherdoc)
I'm taking another run at Mansfield Park, and this time I think I'll actually finish it. That is one of my goals, this being the 200th anniversary, although it's a pity that the Shepard Annotated won't come out until *next* year. I like his annotations and would find it a help getting me over some of the hurdles.

Mansfield is also the theme of this year's JASNAcon (technically the Annual General Meeting, but I know a convention when I go to one!) I hadn't planned on going and it's a good thing because the thing sold out in *a day.* For one of the "problem" novels! I'll have to be fast on my feet when the Emma and Northanger anniversary ones roll around, because I don't want to miss those!

The JASNA News that announced the sellout had a cover with quotes from Austen's family regarding Mansfield. It makes me feel a bit better knowing her mother considered the heroine insipid, one of her brothers essentially called it boring, and one of her nephews only liked a single character in it.


neadods: (Default)

July 2017



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