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ConnieAnnKirk
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Quotable Austen--MANSFIELD PARK

Are there quotes or passages from Mansfield Park that stand out to you as you read?  Share them with the group here!
~ConnieAnnKirk




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ConnieAnnKirk
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Re: Quotable Austen--MANSFIELD PARK

This one caught my eye on this go-round.  It's the opening of Chapter 48:
 
"Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery.  I quit such odious subjects as soon as I can, impatient to restore everybody, not greatly in fault themselves, to tolerable comfort, and to have done with all the rest."
 
Is this the author's, or the narrator's, wish, I wonder?  Both?
 
 
~ConnieAnnKirk




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dulcinea3
Posts: 4,389
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Re: Quotable Austen--MANSFIELD PARK

[ Edited ]
I loved this fragment from Chapter 1:
 
...and she addressed Lady Bertram in a letter which spoke
so much contrition and despondence, such a superfluity
of children, and such a want of almost everything else,
as could not but dispose them all to a reconciliation.

 
It almost sounds Dickensian.


Message Edited by dulcinea3 on 05-05-2008 11:12 AM
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Grand Dame of the Land of Oz, Duchess of Fantasia, in the Kingdom of Wordsmithonia; also, Poet Laureate of the Kingdom of Wordsmithonia
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ARMYRANGER
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Re: Quotable Austen--MANSFIELD PARK

Two passages which really stood out for me were not quotes from a character but physical descriptions.  I think one of the reasons I did not enjoy Austen on my first reading of Pride and Prejudice  was her lack of aesthetic description and detail.  Unlike Dickens or Steinbeck, Austen's prose is almost naked of any landscapes or visual representations of what the characters look like.  I compare her style to Dostoevsky's which is like reading the dialog of a play set to prose.  So, I was struck by the beauty of these two passages:
 
She went, however, and they sauntered about together many a half-hour in Mrs. Grants shrubbery, the weather being unusually mild for the time of year; and venturing sometimes even to sit down on one of the benches now comparatively unsheltered, remaining there perhaps till, in the midst of some tender ejaculation of Fanny's on the sweets of so protracted an autumn, they were forced by the sudden swell of a cold gust shaking down the last few yellow leaves about them to jump up and walk for warmth. (p. 180)
 
The beauty is in the mood, cadence of the line, and the irony of the action.  The mood is a warm, colorful, beautiful day; the poetic cadence reads almost like verse with repetitive alliteration of the S sound (she, sauntered, shrubbery, sometimes, sit, un-Sheltered,some, sweets, so, sudden, swell, shaking-- and the ending Ws walk for warmth), and the irony is in the fact that just as Fanny is commenting on the warm autumn weather a cold wind interrupts her speech and they seek shelter.  Once again Fanny is stifled, but not by Mrs. Norris--this time it's the weather.
 
A mere 28 pages later we get this gem:
 
I was suddenly, upon turning the corner of a steepish, downy field, in the midst of a retired little village between gently rising hills; a small stream before me to be forded, a church standing on a sort of knoll to my right,--which schurch was strikingly large.... (p. 208-9)
 
Once again, wonderful a aesthetic description from an author who used description so sparingly.  I like to think what Austen's books would have been like if she included more passages like these.  Would her books be better if she told us exactly what Fanny looked like, or is part of Austen's charm her Romantic reliance on the mind's eye to work its imaginative magic?    
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ARMYRANGER
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Re: Quotable Austen--MANSFIELD PARK

An advantage this, a strengthener of love, in which even the conjugal tie is beneath the fraternal.  Children of the same family, the same blood, with the same first associations and habits, have some means of enjoyment in their power which no subsequent connections can supply...
 
Sound almost Freudian, are familai blood ties stronger than conjugal/marital??  Does the physical union of lovers trump the bonds between siblings, or does Austen's view hold? 
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ARMYRANGER
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Re: Quotable Austen--MANSFIELD PARK

Good point dulcinea3, and it is this (very important) letter which serves as the catalyst for the entire structure of the novel...  without this letter, Fanny would not have gone to live with the Bertram's!!
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Everyman
Posts: 9,216
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Re: Quotable Austen--MANSFIELD PARK

It's interesting that you comment that Austen's books seem almost like plays set to prose. Many of the screenwriters who have written scripts for Austen movies comment that she adapts so well to the screen because so much of what is important in the books takes place in dialogue, not in descriptive passages.

Of course, this also means that readers who prefer description to dialogue tend not to like her writing.

ARMYRANGER wrote:
Two passages which really stood out for me were not quotes from a character but physical descriptions. I think one of the reasons I did not enjoy Austen on my first reading of Pride and Prejudice was her lack of aesthetic description and detail. Unlike Dickens or Steinbeck, Austen's prose is almost naked of any landscapes or visual representations of what the characters look like. I compare her style to Dostoevsky's which is like reading the dialog of a play set to prose. So, I was struck by the beauty of these two passages:
She went, however, and they sauntered about together many a half-hour in Mrs. Grants shrubbery, the weather being unusually mild for the time of year; and venturing sometimes even to sit down on one of the benches now comparatively unsheltered, remaining there perhaps till, in the midst of some tender ejaculation of Fanny's on the sweets of so protracted an autumn, they were forced by the sudden swell of a cold gust shaking down the last few yellow leaves about them to jump up and walk for warmth. (p. 180)
The beauty is in the mood, cadence of the line, and the irony of the action. The mood is a warm, colorful, beautiful day; the poetic cadence reads almost like verse with repetitive alliteration of the S sound (she, sauntered, shrubbery, sometimes, sit, un-Sheltered,some, sweets, so, sudden, swell, shaking-- and the ending Ws walk for warmth), and the irony is in the fact that just as Fanny is commenting on the warm autumn weather a cold wind interrupts her speech and they seek shelter. Once again Fanny is stifled, but not by Mrs. Norris--this time it's the weather.
A mere 28 pages later we get this gem:
I was suddenly, upon turning the corner of a steepish, downy field, in the midst of a retired little village between gently rising hills; a small stream before me to be forded, a church standing on a sort of knoll to my right,--which schurch was strikingly large.... (p. 208-9)
Once again, wonderful a aesthetic description from an author who used description so sparingly. I like to think what Austen's books would have been like if she included more passages like these. Would her books be better if she told us exactly what Fanny looked like, or is part of Austen's charm her Romantic reliance on the mind's eye to work its imaginative magic?



_______________
I think, therefore I drive people nuts.
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dulcinea3
Posts: 4,389
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Quotable Austen--MANSFIELD PARK

I encountered this quote from Henry Crawford as I was reading last night, and it made me laugh:
 
"I told you I lost my way after passing that old farmhouse
with the yew-trees, because I can never bear to ask;..."
 
and, a few lines later:
 
"You inquired, then?"

"No, I never inquire...."

Men don't change through the ages!!!:smileyvery-happy:


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Grand Dame of the Land of Oz, Duchess of Fantasia, in the Kingdom of Wordsmithonia; also, Poet Laureate of the Kingdom of Wordsmithonia
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dulcinea3
Posts: 4,389
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Quotable Austen--MANSFIELD PARK

Here's another quote that I found very amusing, from when Maria and Mr. Rushworth got engaged:
 
It was some months before Sir Thomas's consent could
be received; but, in the meanwhile, as no one felt
a doubt of his most cordial pleasure in the connexion,
the intercourse of the two families was carried on
without restraint, and no other attempt made at secrecy
than Mrs. Norris's talking of it everywhere as a matter
not to be talked of at present
.

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Grand Dame of the Land of Oz, Duchess of Fantasia, in the Kingdom of Wordsmithonia; also, Poet Laureate of the Kingdom of Wordsmithonia
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