Monday, August 15, 2011

Jane Austen vs Charles Lamb: McSmackdown

Jane Austen
"To complain that Jane Austen is smugly complacent about a social system which is wholly undemocratic is not to have read her. To suppose she would have been more critical of Regency England overlooks the fact that if the people of any time or place were half as reasonable in the dealings with one another that she insisted they should be, there would be no need of social improvements to be made.

"Lamb’s characterization is like a child looking at an adult world (like Dickens) – there is no question of rational conception. The tradition, that ends with Jane Austin, is alien to Lamb. The recollection of an uncomprehending gaze of childhood cuts his characters off from the realm of the intelligible." -- H. M. McLuhan (c early-1940s).

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