Jane Austen

I’m eager to read the new book A Jane Austen Education, by William Deresiewicz (see videos at the end of this post for more information), in part because my husband, who re-reads all of Austen’s novels every time he teaches them—and has read Pride and Prejudice roughly two dozen times—delivers a killer Jane Austen course. Last spring semester, his students, unbeknownst to him, collected quotations from his lectures and discussions, and, on the final day of class, they presented him with nine pages of his quips, observations, one-liners, and other Riveroisms, complete with a title page, formatted to look like the beginning of an Austen novel:

DR. RIVERO-ISMS

A COMMENTARY.

IN ONE VOLUME.

– – – – – – – – – – –

BY A GENTLEMAN

– – – – – – – – – – –

VOL. I

For all Jane Austen fans, I am re-posting from my other blog some Riveroisms on Sense and Sensibility. His students prefaced their list with this:

From the class of Jane Austen, in the Spring of 2010, as recorded by his devoted students, upon subjects diverse in manner, come the following Dr. Rivero-isms:

On Sense and Sensibility

Regarding the age difference between Colonel Brandon and Marianne:

“I don’t think Austen underestimates the creepiness factor here.”

“There’s kind of a Lolita-like tinge to it.”

On Marianne’s excessive crying:

“Crying is hydraulic evidence you have feelings.”

On Lucy Steele:

“Lucy is like a weed. She will not die.”

“Not only is she bad, but she’s really good at being bad.”

On the men in Sense and Sensibility:

“Kind of like Tweedlee, Tweedledum, and Tweedledumber.”

“Do you need a neon sign? Willoughby is bad.”

Regarding Willoughby’s sudden rush of feelings:

“I don’t care if he feels as though a nail is being put through his left eye; he deserves it!


A Three-Part Interview with the author of A Jane Austen Education: