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Posts Tagged ‘Jane Austen

Last words…

 

Art is endless like a river flowing,
passing, yet remaining, a mirror to the same
inconstant Heraclitus, who is the same
and yet another, like the river flowing.

– Jorge Luis Borges, from The Art of Poetry

To begin perfect happiness at the respective ages of twenty-six and eighteen is to do pretty well; and professing myself moreover convinced, that the General’s unjust interference, so far from being really injurious to their felicity, was perhaps rather conducive to it, by improving their knowledge of each other, and adding strength to their attachment, I leave it to be settled by whomsoever it may concern, whether the tendency of this work be altogether to recommend parental tyranny, or reward filial disobedience.

– Jane Austen, from Northanger Abbey

This game is seven-card stud.

– Tennessee Williams, from A Streetcar Named Desire

More final sentences from literary works of all sorts at “The Final Sentence.”  (Even more here— from whence the end tile card, above.)

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As we sum up, we might send carefully-composed birthday wishes to Alexandr Sergeyevich Pushkin; the Russian author was born on this date in 1799 (using the calendar then in effect in Russia).  Pushkin was born into the nobility, an achieved literary acclaim early in his creer.  But his free-thinking bought him trouble with the Tsar.  Indeed, it was while he was under surveillance by the Imperial secret police that he wrote the work for which he’s probably best known, Boris Godunov.

(The people are silent with horror.)

– The stage direction that is the last line of Boris Godunov

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Now you don’t; now you see it…

 

Though your correspondent is certain that it’s no problem for any of you, Dear Readers, it’s a sad fact that the craft of exploratory romantic communication– flirting– is, for many, fraught with the risk of misunderstanding, as it all-too-often-unsuccessfully tries to avoid the Scylla and Charibdys of misbehavior and missed opportunity.

Well, benighted bar-goers need fret no more:  Dutch designers Studio Roosegaarde, in collaboration with V2_Lab and fashion designer Anouk Wipprecht, have come to the rescue with a line of dresses that telegraph a girl’s interest– or lack thereof.  Co.Design reports:

So say you meet some guy who sends your heart aflutter. The dress responds to your elevated pulse by growing transparent around the (already plenty skimpy) plunging neckline. Conversely, if he’s such a snooze that you’re about two seconds away from flat-lining, the dress stays opaque, sending an instant “no, thanks!”

The line, “Intimacy 2.0,” is a series of sensor-enabled cocktail dresses that expose more (indeed, ultimately rather a lot of) skin the more excited the wearer becomes; a combination of embedded sensors and conductive “smart foils” (that become see-through conducting electricity) do the trick… as demonstrated in this– suitable for the club, if NSFW– video:

Readers may have a friend who would be interested to know that the dresses are, in fact, on sale.

As we ponder the impact of static electricity, we might recall that it was on this date in 1811 that a very different take on courtship emerged: a first novel entitled Sense and Sensibility was published.  At the time, only a handful of folks knew the identity of its creator– who was presented to the reading public on the novel’s title page as “a Lady.”  But as the author’s work caught on, she began to publish under her real name– Jane Austen– and later got credit for her inaugural effort.

Title page from the first edition (source)

Written by LW

October 30, 2011 at 1:01 am

“First Impressions”…

… was the tentative title with which Jane Austen worked before she settled on Pride and Prejudice.

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George Orwell’s publisher convinced him that “The Last Man in Europe” simply wasn’t going to send copies flying off booksellers’ shelves, convincing Orwell to switch to his back-up title, 1984.

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Discover more literary “might-have-beens,” featuring F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Joseph Heller, Bram Stoker, and others– at Mentalfloss.

As we think again about our vanity plate orders, we might recall that it was on this date in 1943 that then-26-year-old poet Robert Lowell, scion of an old Boston family that had included a President of Harvard, an ambassador to the Court of St. James, and the ecclesiastic who founded St. Marks School, was sentenced to jail for a year for evading the draft.  An ardent pacifist, Lowell refused his service in objection to saturation bombing in Europe.  He served his time in New York’s West Street jail.

Lowell (left) in 1941, with (his then wife) novelist Jean Stafford, and their friend, novelist and short-story writer Peter Taylor, at Kenyon College, where they studied with John Crowe Ranson (source)

 

 

It’s a Bard! it’s a plain (Jane)! It’s…

Literary Action Figures!  Shakespeare, Ms. Austen, plus Oscar Wilde, Edgar Allan Poe, and Charles Dickens

Order now, and as a special bonus receive:

(TotH to Brainpickings)

As we save up our allowance, we might recall that it was on this date in 1881 that Charles Darwin published The Formation of Vegetable Mould Through the Action of Worms-– the work he considered a more important accomplishment than The Origin of Species (1859).

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Coming (Not) Soon (Enough)…

As we negotiate for the Bronte bout, we might recall that it was on this date in 1814 that Percy Bysshe Shelley eloped with then-17-year-old Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin… despite the fact that Shelley was already married.

Shelley, the heir to his wealthy grandfather’s estate, had been expelled from Oxford for refusing to acknowledge authorship of a controversial essay. He eloped with his first wife, Harriet Westbrook, the daughter of a tavern owner, in 1811. But three years later, Shelley fell in love with the young Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, daughter of a prominent reformer and early feminist writer. Shelley and Godwin fled to Europe, marrying after Shelley’s wife committed suicide in 1816.

Shelley’s inheritance did not pay all the bills, and the couple spent much of their married life abroad, fleeing Shelley’s creditors. While living in Geneva, the Shelleys and their dear friend Lord Byron challenged each other to write a compelling ghost story. Only Mary Shelley finished hers– which she later published as Frankenstein.

Mary Shelley

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