Sunday, May 29, 2016

Episode 40: Austentatious

"The heroine of many a modern novel writhes and reels her way through the story, chews and flings away fifty half-smoked cigarettes...goading every mood to the verge of madness...dashing to the druggist and then collapsing on the doorstep of the psycho-analyst; and all the time congratulating herself on her rational superiority to the weak sensibility of Jane Austen."
~G.K. Chesterton

Honor and sacrifice, wisdom and emotion, modernity and gender roles in Sense and Sensibility, a 90's adaptation of Jane Austen's novel, featuring a sparkling cast which includes Alan Rickman, Emma Thompson, Hugh Grant, and Kate Winslet. Also: dating advice from Jane Austen - and a Christian approach to emotion and reason.


  1. The Sensibility movement was a big fad that swept London--and then the rest of England--during the 18th Century. It was predicated on the idea that England had become devoid of emotions and feelings, and this detachment was leading to all sorts of physical and psychological maladies. Amazingly it caught on--especially with the Upper and Upper-Middle classes and prominent doctors started to lecture in front of huge crowds and offer workshops. On the coattails of that movement, the modern romantic novel was born. And even outside that genre, every new book seemed to feature weepy, emotional, super-sensitive males and females. Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility could have been titled "Bringing Back Sense To Sensibility." It was meant to show the folly of making important decisions based on emotions and feelings being given major importance. She started the ball rolling to stick a pin in the fad. Somehow none of this is taught in American schools, I guess because we were too busy surviving at the time to give the fad much notice. We had our own touchy-feely fad in the latter part of the last (20th) century here.

  2. Patrick Doyle also wrote the melody to the tune Marianne plays when Brandon comes to call. I hadn't particularly noticed the score when I first saw the film but was encouraged to take a fresh look at it by a composer friend who was especially partial to it, and then it became one of my favorites too.

  3. When we refer back to this time, and we most certainly will, this pause will be known as The Longest Fortnight. May 29 to ???? My stars!

    1. We've been trying to get stuff together with our guest - I think we'll end up just doing an interim episode today or tomorrow.


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