Wednesday, July 19, 2017

''The Austen Legacy: Why and How We Love Her, What She Loved'' By JANE SMILEYJULY

''Every few years, I reread a Jane Austen novel, and I’m not alone, according to “Among the Janeites,” Deborah Yaffe’s playful exploration of Austen obsession. In fact, if I were a true Janeite, I’d be handstitching my empire-waisted gown and perfecting my country dancing, and I’d enjoy it, as Yaffe does when she decides to go all out for a Jane Austen Society of North America (Jasna) convention. What I might not enjoy are the members’ competing opinions about who Jane was and what she would be thinking about every little issue, personal and political. And the Janeites are not all women: Yaffe interviews quite a few men. Perhaps the most peculiar is Arnie Perlstein, a conspiracy theorist convinced that Austen buried in her apparently conventional novels a “radical critique of 19th-century patriarchy” that he has “spent more than 15,000 completely uncompensated hours devising.” Other Janeites don’t need compensation. Among the most fascinating is Sandy Lerner, one of the founders of Cisco..''
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