Sense & Sensibility
Modern Library, 1940 (original copyright: 1811)
Oh, Jane...This was a 'comfort read' for me that also happened to neatly align with the Bicentennial Challenge I'm participating in over at Austenprose. It's been years since I read Sense & Sensibility (the real one, not a modern retelling), and I was very excited to see how it compared with both my memory and the film versions I watch frequently. I was not disappointed. There's so much to Jane, even though she merely writes about normal people living fairly normal lives. But there's a magic to the telling, and in Sense & Sensibility, it gains a special persuasion - perchance because I can see so much of my life, of the lives of my friends, reflected in the telling. This is a real story, about things that still happen.
For something as familiar and beloved as Austen, I don't want to write so much as 'review' as my response to the novel...As stated earlier: it was a comfort read. Familiar, cozy, you know exactly how it's going to end - but with every reading there is a new discovery of the characters, the story, yourself. I see so much of myself in Elinor - for all the 'fire & ice' hidden away inside my core, I do my very best to present a more composed front to the world (particularly those not a part of my inner circle). Do I succeed? Not always. I am not possessed of what you call a 'poker face.' But the point is: I can relate so very, very much to Elinor and her struggles. Marianne? Now her I just want to shake until her teeth rattle and her brains settle. Sense & Sensibility is a very reader-response text for me, obviously. I have very personal reactions and interactions with the characters (including falling for Edward, harder every time), I get into the story and taste that world. Personally, I find this evidence of Austen's success at writing - if you are able to draw me into the world you've written, kudos and brownie points coming your way.
I am very happy to have spent the time revisiting this classic comfort read, and while I look forward to delving into other versions and variations of the story - I am definitely going to come back to Sense & Sensibility before another ten years passes.
Book provided by my personal library.