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Wednesday, March 3

Jane Austen Overrated? Puhlease

Wanna see how a man can dig himself into a deep hole from which escape is impossible? Read John Blumenthal's (aka professional comedy writer's) paltry words in Jane Austen Overrated. Regarding her novels, he writes:

They all take place in 19th Century England, and usually revolve around the landed gentry or landed-gentry wannabes. The pompous blowhards that populate most of Ms. Austen’s books all spend their time knitting, taking walks, pretending to read books, having picnics, writing too many letters, gossiping, matchmaking (ineptly), and attending lavish parties, at which they engage in wooden dances, and wonder cluelessly why the person they “truly love” is boogying with someone else. - Yawn.

Talk about clueless! This Neanderthal continues his *ahem* satiric post, attempting to cut Jane Austen's writing into pieces:

Let’s face it – there’s virtually no difference between Austen’s heroines. They all spend their time pathetically pining away for the haughty gentlemen they profess to love, men who are usually spoiled, affluent, and too dense to know that these whining, pouting women have schoolgirl crushes on them.

At this point, Mr. Blumenthal has dug himself all the way to China (with England nowhere in sight):

So why are these books so popular? Simple. They’re all glorified romance novels that have somehow earned the cachet of being “literature,” although for my money, the writing is dull, stilted and plodding and the characters are ordinary simpletons in fancy costumes, but then I’m not the romantic type. If you don’t believe me, ask my wife.

The redeeming factor about this drivel, which Blumenthal published on February 10th, is in reading the comments at the bottom of his post. Now, I'll concede that this comedy writer might have been attempting a satire of his own with tongue firmly planted in cheek.

What do you think, fair reader? Would you give a thumbs up for Mr. Blumenthal's acerbic wit? Or a thumbs down for his mealy-mouthed, lead-footed humor?

16 comments:

MARIA GRAZIA said...

Both thumbs down! But has he even tried to read a page from one of her novels? I doubt. He seems to completely ignore how unromantic JA is or how witty and smart her style is. And if he even made the effort to read a passage, did he realize the prose had an ironic tone? I actually and definitely doubt! Again, both thumbs down. I pity his wife!

Barbara said...

I guess Jane herself would have laughed at Mr. Blumenthal and would have made him a funny character in one of her novels ;)

Jane said...

As I posted to my Facebook link to this article, it does not appear that Mr. Blumenthal is a sensible man and the deficiency of nature seems to have been but little assisted by education or society.

Katherine said...

Lol, dear heavens! He clearly hasn't read a word of Jane Austen!

Maria L. said...

It seems like he's trying oh-so-hard to be clever--and falling rather flat. Austen is a lot funnier than he is.

And reading some of the comments below the post: if one is going to dis a writer, at least spell her name correctly.

jedisakora said...

Thumbs down. Caesar should execute. Does this guy even know who Jane Austen was or lived? Not funny at all. He just comes off as a moron.

Nocturnal Queen said...

He obviously hasn't ready any of her novels. Perhaps not even a page of one. I agree with the previous commenter. He's a moron.

Giulia said...

I wasn't prepared to be annoyed at so many people, so early in the day & week. Ugh. I just typed a bunch more but won't waste another moment on this guy. Thanks for the link, though. (I do pity his wife.)

ChaChaneen said...

His poor wife....

Dawn in NC said...

Wow, my husband might have written that. He doesn't "get" Jane and her irony and arch observations either. What is up with that?

miglet said...

It's like Mr. Collins has come to life, and he is posting on the worldwide web. But that's an insult to Mr. Collins, and I am no Collins fan.

I wish his unfortunate wife luck.

Jane Travers said...

Oh dear. There goes a man who is his own caricature.

He has obviously substituted half-watching one or two adaptations for actually reading her novels.

I rejoice in the knowledge that I am his superior in every way. ;)

nigel said...

I think Blumenthal is having a lend of you because he knows he will get a rise out of Austen fan's.

Its like when one's sweatheart asks you, "Does my bottom look big in these jeans?"

If one wants to "live," there is only one answer spoken with tenderness and a smile too!!

Nonna Beach said...

Love everyone's comments...this guy is in the Mark Twain Club for sure...

What an utter bore and boob...if I had more than 2 thumbs, they'd all be down too !!!

Gargantua said...

His attempt at wit and satire has fallen flat. I strongly suspect he did nothing more than watch a few of the movies on fast forward. I doubt he has actually read any of the words.

mack said...

When The popular comment layout is common, so it is easily recognized scanning to post a comment. If the comment section is in a different format, then I am going to spend more time trying to decipher what everything means.

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