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March 18, 2004

Strange Bedfellows

Maureen Dowd's latest column, entitled "Pride and Prejudice," draws apt, yet cringe-inducing comparisons between the presidential candidates and Jane Austen's characters. John Kerry is Pride, akin to Mr. Collins, whose wife is all "condescension" like Lady Catherine. President B___ is Prejudice: "Like Miss Bennet, who irrationally arranged the facts to fit her initial negative assessment of Mr. Darcy, Mr. Bush irrationally arranges the facts to fit his initial assessment that 9/11 justified blowing off the U.N. and some close allies to invade Iraq."

But Lizzy realizes how blind she has been. B___ will never admit he was wrong.

Having just finished Reading Lolita in Tehran, a memoir that intertwines the literary and the political, I appreciate Dowd's references to Austen. And yet I wish she had left our sparkling dear Jane out of this muck.

Yours, &c., LC | 09:55 AM | Jane , Politics , Writing & Language | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

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Maureen Dowd is the Times' most error-prone columnist. She isn't really in a position to complain about others who allegedly rearrange facts to confirm their prejudices.

Posted by: Michael at March 19, 2004 02:08 AM

Comparing Dowd only to other NYT columnists doesn't cast a very large field, but we are talking about the paper that employs David Brooks.

Posted by: Scott at March 19, 2004 09:45 AM

I don't care for many of Dowd's columns, although I'm interested in this one specifically because of the Austen references. Still none too pleased about it.

Posted by: LadyCrumpet at March 19, 2004 11:52 AM

The hell is that woman talking about? John Kerry couldn't be LESS like Mr. Collins, even in the scenario she describes. However, the idea of Teresa Heinz Kerry as Lady Catherine amuses me hugely.

Bush is more like Wickham, rewriting history to fit his own ends. As you pointed out, Lizzy realizes her mistakes and admits that she was wrong--and look how well that turned out! :-)

Posted by: Mags at March 19, 2004 03:35 PM

I agree with Mags-- I shudder to see B____ compared to Lizzy! Wickham is more like it.

Posted by: Cordelia at March 20, 2004 09:43 PM