Letter Five - interconnectedness between the writer and the reader Social class: Weldon’s comment on social class in Canberra; “in pretty idiosyncratic suburbs where house prices define the status of the occupants and when you change houses you change your friends”, parallels to that in Austen’s time and novels. Power and purpose of the writer
Since Austen, Weldon comments in a didactic tone; “any seminar on Women and Writing or Women Writers of the New Female Culture or whatever is instantly booked up – by men as well as by women – and readings by writers and in particular women writers – are so popular” “But times, you see, have changed, and writers have had to change” Human nature
“Men – I use the term generically to include the female…. Are like children; they tend to misconstrue lack of reproof as a lack of interest, as indifference” Jane Austen vs today
Writers such as Jane Austen were more original with their writing and drew from personal experiences and by “reading aloud, listening to the sightings and coughings of her audience” Where as today many writers are influenced by TV and “will deny a sense of audience” Motiff of the City of Invention
Once again she refers to the City of Invention saying you can visit and depart the city at your own will whilst being in the safety of your own room. “When you close the book …. Discover that you are changed yet unchanged!” Weldon believes this is all education is about. Links to the city of Invention “In this City, virtue is rewarded and the bad are punished” Comments on Austen and Pride and Prejudice
Aunt Fay comments that in Austen’s day, novels were meant to be read aloud so they are aurally effective – “so wonderfully read aloud.” She argues that Austen’s sense of audience and the effect of her text is what makes her novels so valuable. She also makes the point that Austen’s works offer moral instruction, presenting Lizzy as “listening to the beat of feeling rather than the pulsing urge for survival”...
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