By William Deresiewicz
Prior to Jane Austen, William Deresiewicz was once a really varied younger guy. A sullen and conceited graduate pupil, he by no means suggestion Austen could have whatever to supply him. Then he learn Emma—and every little thing changed.
In this specified and lyrical publication, Deresiewicz weaves the misadventures of Austen’s characters together with his personal younger follies, demonstrating the ability of the good novelist’s teachings—and how, for Austen, growing to be up and making error are one and an identical. sincere, erudite, and deeply relocating, A Jane Austen Education is the tale of 1 man’s discovery of the area outdoor himself.
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Additional resources for A Jane Austen Education: How Six Novels Taught Me About Love, Friendship, and the Things That Really Matter
Wasn’t that the entire challenge? i used to be spared no indignity. Blind dates. Setups. A dinner invitation from a girl who grew to become out to have a boyfriend and “didn’t discover this used to be a date. ” A parade of girls who cherished me, yet “not in that manner. ” “At least you’ve made a brand new buddy! ” my pals might say. “I don’t wish to any extent further goddamn neighbors! ” i'd shoot again. sooner or later, I struck up a talk with a girl at the approach out of workout class—one of these brilliant occasions the place you’re already within the center earlier than you've got an opportunity to suppose apprehensive. She used to be clever, great, attention-grabbing, lovely. after we acquired to the nook and appeared approximately to head our separate methods, we grew to become to one another whilst and acknowledged, “So what’s your identify? ” Her identify was once Pam. Pam, Pam, Pam, Pam, Pam. i assumed approximately seeing her back all week. however the subsequent week got here, and he or she didn’t appear. i began to get a bit determined. without doubt she might get back the subsequent week. yet she wasn’t there the subsequent week, both. eventually, I received so distraught that I placed a kind of “missed connections” advertisements within the Village Voice: “Desperately looking Pam,” with where and date and my mobile quantity. Here’s a tip: don’t positioned your quantity in a private advert. First I received a decision from a lady pretending to be Pam (“Of direction I’m Pam”—“Okay, so what do you do for a dwelling? ”—“Oh, c’mon”). Then I acquired a choice from a girl who admitted that she wasn’t Pam yet hoped lets social gathering besides. Then I acquired a decision from a man in New Jersey who desired to commiserate approximately how tough it used to be to satisfy girls. (“Maybe you need to cease going to these singles occasions together with your richer, better-looking friend,” I advised. ) Then I received a choice from a man pretending to be Pam. (“You can name me Pam in order to. ”) and eventually, past due at evening, I received one final name from a man with a voice like sandpaper, who allow me comprehend that, for the correct expense, he’d be at liberty to introduce me to “Pam. ” I did have one severe dating in the course of these years. it began very romantically. I met her on the marriage ceremony of an outdated pal. really, as i found later, it have been a setup. She had selected me out of an entire lineup of eligible men that my pal had laid out—literally, with pictures—upon her request. good, a brief lineup. ok, me and one other man. yet nonetheless. It made all of it appear much more romantic, while she instructed me—like the whole lot used to be intended to be. My good friend prepared to have her choose me up on the airport bus, and as I climbed into the auto, we felt the chemistry correct away—not simply sexual sparks, yet an instantaneous feeling of ease and familiarity and kinship, as though we already knew one another and have been in basic terms resuming a talk that had gotten in brief interrupted. We have been inseparable the whole weekend, didn’t cease giggling, couldn’t think our success. the marriage was once in Michigan (she and my pal had simply accomplished a graduate application jointly on the U of M), and whilst she set out for Boston correct after the rite to begin a brand new task, a brand new existence, she invited me alongside for the ride—a spur-of-the-moment sprint that looked as if it would have the entire glamour and bold of Bonnie and Clyde creating a getaway.