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Thursday, Jan 21, 2010
by PopMatters Staff
by Laura Miller
Salon (20 January 2010)

“Like Dumbledore’s mirror, Austen’s fiction seems to have the ability to reflect whatever its readers most wish to see. Austen is the grandmother of chick lit, much as that fact may irk her highbrow admirers. But that’s not all she is, and to persuade yourself that her novels are only about being courted by rich, handsome men well-versed in ballroom etiquette is to be as dangerously silly and frivolous as Elizabeth Bennet’s youngest sister, Lydia. The chick-lit take on Austen is forever trying to subtract the brutal social and economic realities from her fiction (as well as ignoring the mortifications her heroines undergo), but there’s yet another category of Janeite that doesn’t want to take anything out. Instead, they prefer to add.”


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