Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Last night, before bed, I read the first two chapters of Persuasion, and I quickly noted that, unlike many authors, at least the majority of authors I have read, either as a child or as an adult, and especially not like other British female authors similar to her, though my expertise in this area is limited at best, Austen likes to use commas, in many places and ways, extending the length of her sentences, sometimes even into paragraphs, which may expound on the original topic or may be a delightful aside, such as a fashion or culinary note, which make reading her work challenging, but enjoyable at the same time.

I found myself visualizing a descent down a set of stairs, dark and somehow damp, fulfilling my stereotypes of a dank English manor, getting deeper and deeper into the thought or idea being presented, until Austen begins to bring the reader back up, as if on stairs opposite the descending set, until emersion into the sunlight of understanding occurs, once the reader has successfully navigated the way through the many levels of topics included in any one, however long and convoluted it may be, sentence.

I've begun to notice that at a subconscious level I am counting the commas!

Oh, and I am enjoying the book, too!

4 comments:

Mark and Carla said...

Holy cow--you can do the multiple clauses and commas thing very well...you are actually able to string together a complete sentence ala Austen!

Who'd a thunk you were a secret 19th century British author?

A Peterson Family Member said...

Well, I wouldn't say that - mine are stilted while hers are lyrical. But I do need to get past this comma thing as it is affecting how I am reading - I am paying more attention to the commas (and PAUSING at each one) than I am to the words. I have to read passages over to get the meaning.

Calandria said...

Hahaha! LOVE those sentences.

Mark and Carla said...

For an additional grammatical challenge you can always turn to Faulkner's "Sound and the Fury" stream of consciousness writing that goes on and on for pages sometimeswithoutspacesbetweenwords to replicate the thought processes it was a challenging book to readbutiendeduplikingit