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What Matters in Jane Austen?: Twenty Crucial Puzzles Solved (Inglese) Copertina rigida – 7 giu 2012

5.0 su 5 stelle 1 recensione cliente

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Descrizione prodotto


One effect of reading Mullen's compendium is to make you appreciate the sheer density, the tight-woven intricacy, of every scene and every exchange in Austen. His approach illuminates, because no detail is redundant. Every remark, every accident, every material exchange, is a revelation (Guardian, Books of the Year)

Any new book on Jane Austen raises the urgent question, would I get more pleasure from reading this than from re-reading my favourite Jane Austen novel? If you decide to give What Matters in Jane Austen a chance you'll know after a few pages that you've made the right choice (John Carey, Sunday Times)

If you want to know what Jane Austen's characters look like, which of them never speak, how old they are, what they call each other, why it's risky for them to visit the seaside, what games they play, or how much money is enough, this book will tell you, in minute and richly entertaining detail' (Jane Shilling, Daily Mail)

A fine collection of essays ... Like all good literary critics, he has the happy knack of making you read even familiar works with fresh eyes, and the essays in this book are among the best of their kind ***** (Robert Douglas-Fairhurst, Daily Telegraph)

Every remark, every accident, every material exchange, is a revelation (Guardian)

Absorbing ... Whether the topic is age, sex, death, money, illness, holidays, accidents, the weather or marriage proposals, Austen's reticence has seldom been handled with such delicate precision ... Such is the quality and incisiveness of Mullan's critical engagement with Austen that the only thing to regret about his book is that there isn't more of it ... What Matters in Jane Austen? is a model of clarity, verve and perception (The Literary Review)

If you love Jane Austen you'll love this book too - it's almost as good as finding an unpublished novel ... Fascinating (Lady)

Descrizione del libro

From 'Is there Sex Before Marriage in Austen?' to 'Which important Austen characters never speak?' the Guardian Book Club columnist answers 21 apparently trivial questions that reveal deep and hidden truths about Jane Austen's fictional world

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Dettagli prodotto

  • Copertina rigida: 352 pagine
  • Editore: Bloomsbury Publishing (7 giugno 2012)
  • Lingua: Inglese
  • ISBN-10: 1408820110
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408820117
  • Peso di spedizione: 499 g
  • Media recensioni: 5.0 su 5 stelle  Visualizza tutte le recensioni (1 recensione cliente)
  • Posizione nella classifica Bestseller di Amazon: n. 195.292 in Libri in altre lingue (Visualizza i Top 100 nella categoria Libri in altre lingue)
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Recensioni clienti

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Formato: Copertina flessibile Acquisto verificato
Have very much enjoyed reading this book, and learning about all the various subtleties that make up the Austen novels. Aspects such as the importance of how one is named, and the importance of looks provide one with a further in-depth understanding of the Austen characters.
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Le recensioni clienti più utili su Amazon.com (beta) (Potrebbero essere presenti recensioni del programma "Early Reviewer Rewards")

Amazon.com: 4.2 su 5 stelle 64 recensioni
20 di 21 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
4.0 su 5 stelle Scholarly Book with Appeal for All Readers 29 gennaio 2013
Di Caroline Niziol - Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Formato: Copertina rigida Acquisto verificato
What Matters in Jane Austen is simultaneously both the most scholarly and most enjoyable book I have read in a very long time. I have read my share of Austen scholarship that veers into mind-boggling dullness and/or extreme readings of the Big Six. In What Matters in Jane Austen, Mullan manages to explore the minutia with style, wit, and insight.

My favorite chapter was probably the one about card games. I'll confess that when Austen talks about the games her characters play during parties or afternoon gatherings, my eyes glaze over those sections. The examination of pairings and numbers for those games, as well as expectations regarding gambling, was both historically interesting and enlightening for certain portions of the books.

Despite the potential for academic murkiness, Mullan keeps the text moving quickly. It was quite fun to read and I also appreciated the brief, relevant mentions of the film adaptations.

[note: I received an ARC from Netgalley.]
5.0 su 5 stelle Fascinating insights 9 marzo 2017
Di A Reader and a Writer - Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Formato: Formato Kindle Acquisto verificato
I love Austen, and have read lots about her books. This book, however, gave me some new insights into her writing, new connections between ideas that I had never noticed before. We see how Austen experimented with new points of view and styles of writing (which make her books feel much more modern and interesting than her contemporaries' books), as well as the significance of age, money, games, travel, and much more--I've read the basics on all these areas, but in each chapter Mullan gave me some new background and interpretations. It was a joy to read, and I highly recommend it!
5.0 su 5 stelle Illuminating and Accessible Analysis 16 dicembre 2016
Di H. Bok - Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Formato: Copertina flessibile Acquisto verificato
More than any author, Jane Austen inspires popular criticism—lit crit without the flummery, analysis that remains free of the jargon adopted by professional academics. I read on both sides of that fence but infinitely prefer the popular criticism side, which has the power to draw anyone who enjoys attentive reading into its circle. And John Mullan’s book is among the best I have read in that arena.

He approaches the business episodically, through a series of inquiries that range from trivial matters such as “Do Sisters Sleep Together?” to subtler points of style such as “When Does Jane Austen Speak Directly to the Reader?” Each of his leading questions opens a little window on her work, examining issues of her cultural context or her literary technique. The essays embrace all the published novels, with (sadly) only glancing mentions of the juvenilia and unfinished works. (I wish people paid more attention to *The Watsons*!)

Along the way, he illuminates aspects of her world of manners such as the fine points of naming—why it’s rude for Mrs. Elton to call Mr. Knightley “Knightley,” to be sure, but also what Elizabeth Bennet is telling us about herself when she stops saying “Mr. Darcy” and starts referring to him as “Darcy.” (Speaking of the mega-couple, Mullan showed me a lot about their mutual attraction that I had overlooked during a gazillion rereadings of *Pride and Prejudice.*) What other critic would have considered an examination of how Jane Austen uses weather? Or what cues we should pick up from mentions of visits to the seaside?

Mullan has a keen eye for the telling detail, and a clear voice for explaining just how and what it’s telling. His analysis of Jane Fairfax and Frank Churchill’s meeting at Worthing is especially illuminating; and the conclusions he draws from the characters who are not given direct dialogue in the novels goes far beyond the usual platitudes. (*Emma* shows particular skill in the way it uses people speaking and not speaking: Mr. Perry drives the plot without ever saying a word, and Miss Bates reveals the truth without saying anything that we or the characters attend to.)

The back half of the book takes Mullan’s game up a notch when he brings his focus to bear on Jane Austen’s writerly techniques, especially in the chapters “Why Do Her Plots Rely on Blunders?” and “How Experimental a Novelist Is Jane Austen?” (“What Makes Characters Blush?” is also surprisingly illuminating.) He has a gift for discovering a telling keyword or concept and following its thread throughout a novel, showing us how it reveals Austen’s thought processes.

Many of us have had the experience of seeing something new each time we reread a Jane Austen novel. After decades of that experience, I thought I was reaching a point of diminishing returns—till John Mullan showed me how much I was unable to see without his help.
2 di 2 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
4.0 su 5 stelle An enjoyable read if you're a true Austen fan 10 luglio 2014
Di J. Turner - Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Formato: Formato Kindle Acquisto verificato
I liked the book, with a couple of fairly minor reservations.

First, you really do have to know your Austen, but I assume anyone considering this book falls into that category. The author talks about all of Austen's novels, plus an unfinished one that I've never read. You might not follow all of what he discusses if, for example, you aren't clear on all the plots and characters (I don't remember who anyone was in Northanger Abbey, for instance, as I've only read it once a long time ago).

Second, yes, he gets a bit detailed on things like who blushes. But the whole point is that these things meant something in Austen's day, and that we're unlikely to pick up on lots of these little details now. I especially appreciated the chapter on money, as I've always wondered about the relative importance of many of the characters' comments on finances.

Third, the book ends very abruptly. That may seem like a picky detail, but I was reading along on my e-reader and it just suddenly ended. No conclusion, no wrapping up, nothing. It was a somewhat disappointing way to finish it up.

If I could give a rating between four and five starts, I would. It wasn't quite 5-star-worthy, but I did find it very interesting and informative.
6 di 6 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
5.0 su 5 stelle Better Understanding Jane Austen 1 febbraio 2013
Di Elizabete - Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Formato: Copertina rigida Acquisto verificato
Jane Austen is a master story teller. Her careful expression is often witty and subtle and avoids unnecessary details. John Mullen's comments provide useful insights for modern readers. Although Jane Austen usually avoided symbolism and hidden meaning, her sophisticated style is not always apparent. Mullen points out that blunders and blushes as well as giving selected characters no spoken lines provide important shades of meaning. Jane Austen avoids unnecessary details; but for modern readers, Mullen's information about life in the early 1800s such as etiquette for mourning (not grieving) for the death of a family member and the cost of living make the stories more understandable. "What Matters in Jane Austen" is clearly written and well organized. All of the 20 chapters treat useful subjects that enhance understanding and enjoyment of Jane Austen's novels.