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Cat Among Books

Comprehensively Misinterpreting Jane

I was going through and mostly discarding old magazines a week or so ago and discovered that I had completely missed the September 2008 issue of Touchstone. It contains an excellent piece by Eleanor Bourg Donlon about Becoming Jane, the fictionalized biographic film about Jane Austen that we were discussing here a week or two ago (actually, looking back at that discussion, I see most of it was about the other movies mentioned in that post). As I suspected, devoted Austen fans, those who understand her best, are even more negative toward the movie than I was:

Becoming Jane could be taken as an innocent fiction, but why was such a film made in the first place? The answer is that it is the latest in a long line of comprehensive misinterpretations of Austen classics established upon the premise that unless Jane Austen experienced adolescent passion and rebelled against traditional authorities, she was not a “real” woman.

Read the whole thing here.


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