Finally, finally, finally finished Jane Austen’s Emma as part of my long neglected 50 Classics project. I hadn’t realized just how much a bottleneck this novel has become. I could spare people the brunt of my Emma rant and simply say that Austen’s form of writing and this particular Regency era comic romance does nothing for me… but I can’t. I need this catharsis to make a break through in my (otherwise) love of reading.
While the style is amusing and entertaining in brief doses, it becomes miasmic after several chapters in Emma. I’m certain that in comparison to London air quality in the coming years, Austen was a nostalgically invigorating breath of fresh air. I suspect that in a hundred years the romantic comedies of our time such as My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Runaway Bride and Coming to America will hold a similarly high place in our culture.
I expect brutal reprisals from the “The Janeites”. I take comfort that I’m not alone in my Austenian Revolution; Mark Twain “Jane Austen? Why, I go so far as to say that any library is a good library that does not contain a volume by Jane Austen. Even if it contains no other book.”