Sunday, March 22, 2009

Jane Austen, Russia, and everything else

I've been rather absent lately, but school has definitely taken precedence. I've spent the last week lurking in the lighting booth (which is really just a booth, it was never finished properly) at school cleaning heavy, incredibly dusty stage lights, which is very very fun but also time consuming. I admit I have not done a lot of reading. I'm still plodding through Claire Tomalin's biography of Jane Austen, which is very good but not, I admit, that gripping. At least, in the way that nonfiction rarely grips me. So that's slow going, and I'm determined to finish it before I read anything else.

I gave up on The Beginning of Spring. I've discovered that books about Russia just don't work for me. Penelope Fitzgerald is great, I just can't get myself to enjoy the setting. I think it's possible that this is not exclusive to Russia, but rather any terribly cold climate. The cold just gives the book a mood that I can't really enjoy, though sometimes I appreciate it. There are still some Russian classics I'd like to read, but that may have to wait until I take a class, or something.

Even if the Miss Austen biography is slow going, I have been thinking about Jane Austen in general, and the research paper I'm working on about sibling vs. romantic love in her novels. It's a question that's rather invaded the rest of my life, too, actually. What do you think? In literature, or in life, what is the real difference between romantic love and love between siblings/very close friends?

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