Posts Tagged ‘Jane Austen’

Having a day with few commitments before me, my plan is to spend my hours writing. In the formation of sentences, the reworking of ideas, the addition of punctuation and the correcting of grammar.  Not only for the continuation in this #blog5daysAustenese journey, but also in the creation of articles for work, both mine and my clients’.

I have often pondered, in my leisure hours, upon the many and varied writing stiles. This challenge, for example, was conceived with the idea that I had recently been so immersed in reading Austen‘s novels that, when I wrote (sometimes even when I spoke!) I found it difficult to refrain from her stile. My preference was to use vocabulary which, although still understandable, required effort to comprehend, being no longer in regular usage. I also found it fairly easy – and interesting! – to write in a stile that, for the most part, made liberal use of overly long sentences comprising significant numbers of embedded clauses. Verb usage at the beginning of the sentences quickly became an idea that, although foreign at first, became more familiar in practice, as was wont to happen.

Perversely, the difficulties presented themselves when moving away from blogging in Austen’s stile, in occasions when a modern tone in my writing was required. I was surprised – nay, shocked! – to discover that it was here, wherein the true nature of the challenge made itself felt. The difficulties with which I struggled to write in a modern stile were a sight to behold. Indeed, I was both astonished and confounded to ascertain within myself a penchant for the writing of long sentences, and the use of vocabulary quite different to mine own.

Hence my decision to pen my blog early today. If I am to achieve, successfully, the tasks before me, which of necessity require a modern stile of writing, the difficulties in the adoption of same that I have noticed, will need to be taken into account. So here ends the fourth of five entries written in the stile of Austen, and I look forward to penning my fifth and last, tomorrow. Til then, dear readers!

Point to note – although I found it rather difficult to continually spell the word ‘style’ with an ‘i’ rather than a ‘y’, it is consistent with Austen’s spelling during this period. Sorry for any confusion this may have caused!

Having the unusual distinction of three family birthdays fall within a seven-day, I have then leisure to consider the import of ‘countdowns’. Counting the days that must be lived, prior to a forthcoming event, can be abundantly effectual. Not only have they the ability to elevate eagerness and enthusiasm prior to the big occasion, they also provide innumerable opportunities for the teaching of mathematical concepts to young receptive minds.

Saturday last witnessed the birth-day celebrations of my husband. Entering his 40th year was marked with his favourite diversions; fishing, napping, and dining with close friends. The following day, our middle child, often referred to as ‘Miss 3’, became ‘Miss 4’ and spent the day smiling profusely and announcing her successful acquisition of another year. And finally, our “Miss 6” will become our “Miss 7” this forthcoming Friday. Each of these days has been studiously counted-down-to by infant fingers excitedly marking off the days in our family almanac.

Twelve months ago, this blog witnessed my scribblings on this topic although it does not appear to me as though a year has passed. Reflecting on this perception, I see that it is entirely possible that the exercise of ‘counting down’ may be its intimate connection. By continuously focusing on future events, enjoying the moment may be superceded by the prospect of future happiness, thus rendering the present of lesser importance, possibly to such a degree that fewer memories are retained, thus rendering the passage of time to feel faster than in actuality.

My summation is that, should we seek to be wise, we should treat in an even-handed manner the conflicting desires of valuing and cherishing the moment and viewing the future with an excess of sensibility. Would you agree, gentle readers?

CC Image courtesy 4rank at http://www.flickr.com/photos/fcharlton/1799065990/lightbox/

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that an educated person with a love of reading, an interest in the pursuit of learning, and a possession of both time and opportunity in the form of a blog, must be in want of a writing challenge. The exploration of their writing prowess then finds its culmination in the subsequent compositions, and the responses of readers by the means of comments below the blogs.

Inasmuch as today, being the 16th day in January, marks the commencement of such a challenge, it behooves me to welcome my friends into this five-day season of Austenese blogwriting. I warmly congratulate you on your courage, your bravery in the face of probable ridicule, and your willingness to see a challenge through to the end. Of your determination to attempt the composition of sentences, the structure of which is markedly different to our own, I heartily applaud.

Lovers of Jane Austen everywhere, I raise before you these participants, and commend their efforts to you. Your comments, as a consequence of reading, appreciating, and approving of their work, will inspire them to even greater achievements in this challenge, and therefore are greatly desired by all involved. As each participant will be composing their thoughts on their individual blogs, these links, should you click them, will lead you to the correct destinations:

@jobeaz, blogging at Macaronic

@Girlwithshoess, blogging at Justgirlwithshoes

@kalgrl, blogging at Feral Librarian Tales

@jzgarnett, blogging at Randomly Yours, Julia

And finally, a word to our detractors. Each name you see before you is not, as may be reasonably supposed, a lover of Austen’s writing. Indeed, at least one finds the work of Jane Austen to be so far from pleasant as to call it horrid. It can be assumed, therefore, that in this #blog5daysAusten challenge, you the readers have greatly the advantage of us in this respect, that you are able to comment profusely, whereas we the writers have only our works to recommend us. I would entreat you, therefore, to be gentle in your criticism, or rather, join us in the task ahead and proudly hold your own head high in the challenge. More participants are readily welcomed. Simply comment below your intention to join, with a link to your blog, and compose five posts in the style of Jane Austen. Having tweeted your publication of each post using the hashtag #blog5daysAusten, and following other participants writings, there is nothing left to do but to enjoy the journey!

Of all Jane Austen’s novels, Lady Susan is the one I like the most. Her main character, the recently widowed Lady Susan, is far more Thackery’s Becky Sharp than Pride and Prejudice’s Jane Bennett, and she comes far closer to succeeding in her conquest of a man ‘determined to not like her’ than Henry Crawford did with Fanny Price in Mansfield Park, when the situations were reversed. It is also completely different in style, being almost completely written through letters.

This is the only Austen novel I have not seen a film version of. Which is fine, as I think a screen adaptation would ruin it.

And that wraps up my week of Austen summaries. Tomorrow marks the beginning of #blog5daysAusten. Should be rather interesting!

See you tomorrow, dear readers!

 

A throw-away tweet I wrote this morning became a recurring thought of mine today. In pre-6am conversation with @jobeaz regarding the sheer amount of reading she’s been doing over her holidays, I laughingly wrote that I’m mid-way through Mansfield Park, and have found it difficult to not write in Austenese.

To this, both she and @Girlwithshoes encouraged me to do exactly that – to blog in Austenese. And the thought has stayed with me.

I’d like to issue a challenge though, as I’d like to not blog alone. To that end… who’s up for #blog5daysAustenese ? Seeing as #blog12daysxmas has just finished, this might be as good a time as any…? I’m thinking that if we do Monday through Friday of next week, that’ll give any and all participants time over the weekend to get immersed in the style.

So… who’s in? (And if I’m alone, then so be it, I shan’t mind…!)