Sunday randomness

I’ve got one more thing to finish for work tomorrow, but I can’t bring myself to finish it. Here I am, then, trying to get some writing and thinking out of the way.

My next book club session will be on July 14. We’ll be discussing Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park. I’ve seen the Billie Piper and Frances O’Connor movie versions, and the only things I liked in those movies were Jonny Lee Miller and Alessandro Nivola in the O’Connor version.

That said, I’m only in the first half of this lengthy and boring novel. I love Austen, I do, but Fanny Price is just way too blah for my liking. Emma was the most annoying character, but at least she was lively. I’ve got a few questions already for the book club, some of them clarificatory questions, some of them discussion ones.

  1. What did men have to do to get ordained? Edmund was said to go into the clergy, but I don’t remember any mention of him going into formal “training” or going into a “seminary” to be a clergyman.
  2. Why was Mrs. Norris so annoying?
  3. Manners were constantly spoken of. What was the consequence of having bad manners then? How did the stiff and polite manners/practces transition into the modern age?
  4. Why did Austen seem so against modernization in this novel?
  5. Why did Austen say that the Crawfords were brown/black? Mary was described as having “lively dark eye, clear brown complexion, and general prettiness” while Henry was described as “not handsome” and “absolutely plain, black and plain.” I think I’m missing a cultural thing here.

Okay, that will have to do for now. Back to work.

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