A Jane Austen Education: How Six Novels Taught Me About by William Deresiewicz

By William Deresiewicz

An eloquent memoir of a tender man's lifestyles remodeled through literature.

In A Jane Austen Education, Austen pupil William Deresiewicz turns to the author's novels to bare the outstanding existence classes hidden inside. With humor and candor, Deresiewicz employs his personal reviews to illustrate the iconic strength of Austen's teachings. Progressing from his days as an immature pupil to a fortunately married guy, Deresiewicz's A Jane Austen Education is the tale of 1 man's discovery of the realm outdoor himself.

A self-styled highbrow insurgent devoted to writers equivalent to James Joyce and Joseph Conrad, Deresiewicz by no means idea Austen's novels may have whatever to supply him. but if he used to be assigned to learn Emma as a graduate pupil at Columbia, whatever impressive occurred. Austen's devotion to the standard, and her trust within the worth of normal lives, ignited anything in Deresiewicz. He all started viewing the area via Austen's eyes and treating these round him as generously as Austen handled her characters. alongside the way in which, Deresiewicz used to be surprised to find that the folks in his existence constructed the intensity and richness of literary characters-that his personal lifestyles had unexpectedly got the entire fascination of a singular. His actual schooling had eventually started.

Weaving his personal story-and Austen's-around those her novels inform, Deresiewicz indicates how her books are either approximately schooling and themselves an schooling. Her heroines find out about friendship and feeling, staying younger and being strong, and, in fact, love. As they develop up, they examine classes which are imparted to Austen's reader, who learns and grows via their aspects.

A Jane Austen Education is a testomony to the transformative energy of literature, a party of Austen's mastery, and a pleasure to learn. even if for a newcomer to Austen or a lifelong devotee, Deresiewicz brings clean insights to the novelist and her liked works. eventually, Austen's global turns into indelibly entwined with our personal, exhibiting the relevance of her message and the triumph of her vision.

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Our duel with the armored train was funny, although the laugh was probably not on us. An armored train is a big con­ traption, and if its machine guns keep spitting bullets onto an empty highway where nothing is moving but a wagon with women and children, there is something unfair about it. I am incorrect: in the wagon, upright, stood a she-goat surveying the scene with her yellow eyes. This personage was very important to our family—for my little brother she was a live dairy. It may be that she was behaving provocatively.

Apparently he was enchanted by that miracle of continental exotica. As a Catholic, he felt at home with the several dozen churches and the sound of bells, which continually hung in the air. Narrow cobblestone streets and an orgy of baroque: almost like a Jesuit city somewhere in the middle of Latin America. The comparison is not farfetched because at one time Wilno was among the most powerful Jesuit centers in this part of Europe. Are there many cities whose names people disagree about? CITY or MY YOUTH 55 Poles say Wilno; Lithuanians, Vilnius; Germans and Byelo­ russians, Wilna.

Humanity’s progressive wing addressed its sympathies not to the Poles but to the Russian dawn of freedom; in Western European ports, strikes broke out protesting the supplies of ammunition sent to Poland by the terrified governments of the Entente. What would have happened if Pilsudski’s army had not won in August, 1920, outside of Warsaw? One can only make conjectures. How would the Germans, seething over their de­ feat, have reacted to a triumph of the Revolution at their door­ step? Had not Trotsky already lost his gamble?

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