Thursday, November 4, 2010

Flattery Will Get You Everywhere

I just got an email from a friend and former professor of mine. She sent me a link to Deb Barnum's (Regional Coordinator of the Vermont chapter of JASNA and current bibliographer for Persuasions Online) BLOG recapping the 2010 JASNA AGM. "She talks about you!" my friend said.

Well, of course I had to check it out, and here's what Ms. Barnum had to say:

. . . Then off to the first of many break-out sessions – and what a task to choose! – each session offering such variety and depth – the choice so difficult – I decided to do at least one on the gothic literary features of NA, one on fashion and all that muslin, and of course, something on Henry Tilney. So my first was to hear . . .

Then off to see Stephanie Eddleman on “Henry Tilney: Austen’s Feminized Hero?” – One of the things that can get my dander up in a discussion about NA is talk that Henry is too feminine to be a true hero, or too condescending to be an equal lover to Catherine, or too distant as a character to engage the reader – so I was hoping that Prof. Eddleman would give me much needed ammunition! – and she did indeed: Henry as the one hero who stands apart – he is her only witty hero; he is feminized but not feminine, and unlike Austen’s other feminized male characters [Frank Churchill, Robert Ferrars], Austen is not critical of Henry. I most appreciated Eddleman’s answer to Marvin Mudrick’s contention that Henry is a detached, disengaged character – she feels that Henry develops intimacy through his intelligence and wit, always encouraging Catherine toward her own independent thinking. I hope this talk will be in Persuasions – it gives much needed support for Henry as True & Worthy Austen Hero.

With all these great thoughts in my head, off we ran to . . .

Wow. That was exciting!

No comments: