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August 13, 2003

Not Everyone's Dear Jane

The other night, after Scott's defense, I joined him and his colleagues at a local watering hole. At some point it came up that one of the women in the party adored Colin Firth after seeing Bridget Jones, but had not seen him in Pride & Prejudice. I strongly encouraged her to see it, explaining that BJD is a modernization of the P&P story.

However, another young woman in the group, one of the first-year students, immediately spoke up and declared how she couldn't stand Jane Austen, something along the lines of that she "just didn't get it." (Clearly.) The rest of the table, knowing my admiration of Jane, were highly amused and spoiling for a fight. But I simply shrugged and redirected the conversation. I mean, what could I say to someone who seemed so convinced? "How sad for you" was all I could think.

I know not everyone cares for Jane. To each their own, &c. However, I did feel the tiniest bit affronted, feeling not just that one of my favorite authors had been dismissed, but my partiality for her as well.

But it's not as though I haven't observed the same feeling in others - people are protective of their tastes and can feel defensive when such are criticized. That doesn't mean we shouldn't express our opinions, but we shouldn't be surprised if they are challenged, nor should we care or have to change our minds. Hopefully there is an interesting exchange in the conversation, rather than injured feelings. Although if the other person is a stubborn contrarian, the kind who can't or won't consider any of your arguments and has to rule the point, as it were, then it's fine to secretly think "Oh shut up already, you stupid prat/cow." Some battles aren't worth the effort.

Yours, &c., LC | 05:06 AM | Jane | Comments (4)


Check out for some ridiculous reviews of P&P. Those were only a few of the ones I came across. It's amazing the number of folks who just don't understand. To each their own, of course, but to go on and on about how boring something is just because you didn't like's the outside of enough. I particularly liked the person who said they preferred Jack London, as if it was a perfectly reasonable comparison.

Hope the packing's going well. :)

Posted by: Little Librarian at August 13, 2003 03:21 PM

*passes Lady Crumpet a nice cup of tea*

Well done, my lady. Jane would be proud of you. (She also would be proud that you went home and wrote something mildly snarky about the obviously clueless person.)

Posted by: The HP at August 13, 2003 09:38 PM

LOL. Thanks for the cuppa.

Posted by: Lady Crumpet at August 14, 2003 11:09 AM

You are a calmer and more rational soul than I. While I vehemently agree that everyone is entitled to their own opinion and welcome to defend the same, I also think "I just don't get it" is not an expression of a person's opinion, but rather their ignorance. If this person could have expressed why she doesn't think the stories are relevant to her life - or something at all that indicated that she had given the matter some thought - then her opinion would have been much more valid.
Ignorance bothers me to no end. Particularly the level to which we excuse, enjoy and even flaunt our own ignorance.

Posted by: melissa at August 14, 2003 11:59 AM