Bloom's Classic Critical Views: Jane Austen by Sterling Professor of the Humanities Harold Bloom

By Sterling Professor of the Humanities Harold Bloom

Famous for her witty depictions of English nation lifestyles and sharply satirical perspectives of sophistication constitution and human habit, 19th-century novelist, Jane Austen's works own a undying charm for either common readers and literary students. This quantity showcases essays from Austen's personal period of time and past that create a portrait of this author.

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Miss Austen was sparing in her introduction of nobler characters, for they are scattered sparingly in life, but the books in which she describes them most we like most; they may not amuse so much at the moment, but they interest more deeply and more happily. . ”33 Every species of composition, is, when good, to be admired in its way; but the revival of the domestic novel would make a pleasant interlude to the showy, sketchy, novels of high life. Notes 26. In Northanger Abbey (1818), the heroine Catherine Morland feels “heartily ashamed of her ignorance” about a particular topic of discussion.

To tell a story well, is quite another thing from having a good story to tell. The construction of a good drama is the same in principle whether the subject be Antigone, the Misanthrope, or Othello; and the real critic detects this principle at work under these various forms. It is the same with the delineation of character: however various the types, whether a Jonathan Oldbuck, a Dr Primrose, a Blifil, or a Falstaff—ideal, or real, the principles of composition are the same. Miss Austen has generally but an indifferent story to tell, but her art of telling it is incomparable.

Her materials are of the commonest every-day occurrence. Neither the emotions of tragedy, nor the exaggerations of farce, seem to have the slightest attraction for her. The reader’s pulse never throbs, his curiosity is never intense; but his interest never wanes for a moment. The action begins; the people speak, feel, and act; everything that is said, felt, or done tends towards the entanglement or disentanglement of the plot; and we are almost made actors as well as spectators of the little drama.

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