Tuesday, 16 March 2010

‘By the Seaside with Sanditon’ at Austenprose - Chapters 1/4

I read Jane Austen's  unfinished novel, SANDITON, just last summer. It is a short delightful reading, consisting of only 12 chapters. Here's my review of the experience which involved also the completion by Juliette Shapiro.

I didn't like that attempt at Sanditon completion very much and I'm still looking for a good one. Now I'm enjoying this experience of a group re- reading of Jane Austen's 12 chapters at Austenprose, Laurel Ann's amazing site. The schedule is full of interesting activities. Today, for example, we discussed chapters 1/4 from Sanditon. Here's Laurel Ann's post with a giveaway + our discussion. Tomorrow there will be an interesting post about seaside resorts in the Regency Era.
This is my contribution to the discussion:

Thanks for this invitation! I’m terribly busy but I couldn’t decline it. I couldn’t deny myself such a pleasant experience. I love the seaside. One of my favourite places. And reading Jane Austen by the sea can be bliss! Long premise to introduce my opinion on this unfinished novel, Sanditon, I’m re-reading with pleasure.

• I'm particularly intrigued by the seaside resort setting. It's quite different from the usual in Jane Austen's novels. I know some scenes of Persuasion or Manfield Park are set at the seaside but this novel, Sanditon, would have dealt with worldly life in that elegant place by the sea at Regency time. This would have make it different from a trip to Lyme Regis (Persuasion) or from the poor heroine’s native place (Fanny Price comes from Portsmouth).

• I'm also quite interested in Jane Austen's representation of her time conception of modernity and progress. But we have too little in this fragment to reflect on . It'd be great to have more to read and analyze in order to discover what Jane actually thought of modernity. I bet she was not so conservative. What do you think?

• Finally, my favourite character/s. I feel Sir Edward Denham might have developed into an interesting male figure … The same for Sydney Parker – who will be introduced only in the 12th chapter. They might have become rather round characters (using E. M. Forster’s categories), meaning complex ones, with a solid background and chances for redemption the first; strong temper and smart intelligence, destined to improve the second one. I think Jane Austen would have developed them more and more positively in order to make them become worthy to woo and win the heroines. Only suppositions. Who knows?

I only know I can’t be entered the giveaway, living in Italy,
:-(  but I just didn’t want to lose the precious occasion you gave us , Laurel Ann, to join such an interesting discussion.

No comments: