Saturday, April 15, 2006

Janes, I'm giving up

You read it here, folks, I am officially giving up on Janes Austen and Eyre.

As I continue with my spring cleaning kick, I've been filtering out my excess books that really could make themselves more useful at the used book store a block away. Some of these are just lame books that I don't understand why I bought in the first place. Others are really great books that I genuinely enjoyed reading (Bel Canto, for example), but that I don't really need to keep in my library for the next twenty years.

And then. Then there are the heartbreakers -- the classics. A few years ago, I got on a kick to read many of the classic books that I never got around to reading in high school or college. These including Jane Eyre, Tess of the D'Urbervilles, Pride & Prejudice, Madame Bovary, etc. I ask you, have these books been touched since I brought them home? Have I read even one page of any of them? Have I taken them off the bookshelf even once and read so much as the back covers? Siiigh. You get the picture.

So as I was going through my bookshelves pruning out the titles that aren't going to make the cut in the long term, I struggled over Jane Eyre and other weighty titles for a long time. They got thrown into the "sell" pile, then got guiltily fished out, then got thrown back in again. Finally I've given up -- they are all staying in the sell pile. My AP English teacher may be clucking her tongue at me in disapproval somewhere in the Denver suburbs, but spring cleaning has never been for the faint hearted.

I've accepted my fate as a woman that will never be able to wow her collegues at a business dinner with a witty retort about Emma Bovary, nor will I apparently be able to decipher the inside joke when someone makes a joke about Mr. Darcy over cocktails.

And, okay, wisenheimers, I'll stop you right there because I know you're all sitting there in frotn of your computers thinking, "Um, who are these people making jokes about Mr. Darcy that she's all worried about? Does this actually happen in real life or is she confusing it with a scene in an Emma Thompson movie?"

But I swear to God, people, you just wait, you will be a dinner somewhere, sometime, someplace and something related to Jane Eyre WILL COME UP, and you will be proud and smug that you read that book in high school like the rest of us should have done in the first place.


Dave said...

I have indeed heard the Mr. Darcy retort come up at parties, and heck, I've probably been the guilty party on that one at some point. But really, it's totally appropriate for a coctail party. Suffice to say, next time you hear someone say something grumpy or unpleasant at a party and you feel compelled to stick up for him or her, just say, "Ah, channelling Mr. Darcy no doubt." Anyone who hears you will either understand just what you mean, or pretend to. ;)

Angie said...

Madame Bovary - not a loss. Read only because my AP English teacher (in Denver) also made me. But Jane Eyre, in the name of all that is girly, fish her out of the bag right now!!

Colleen said...

Ya know... After being forced in college to read it...I did have to admit that Jane Eyre really IS a good book! It's old-fashioned chick-lit!