Sunday, May 18, 2008

I Swallow My Pride & Admit My Prejudice

In which I confess something:

Until last week, I had never read a single word by Jane Austen,

and share something you probably already knew:

Pride and Prejudice is a great book!

Why haven't I ever read this before?! Why did I used to scoff at people who talked about how funny Jane Austen is? The answer, appropriately, is that I was unduly prejudiced against the book for no reason other than that it is a "classic" and the covers always look so dull and, like, 1800-ish, and, well, there is no good reason. I apologize to all of you at whom I scoffed.

It's not like nobody tried to get me to read it. Confession #2: I have a vague memory of giving an oral report in AP English on Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility, which I hadn't read either. This was very unlike my usual total and complete geek industrious student self, which is probably why I was wracked with enough guilt about it to remember doing it at all. I think I used the Cliffs Notes, actually.

Oh, now I am really embarrassed. I will probably be kicked out of the Cool Writers club for this. Oh, wait. I was never in the Cool Writers club. Is there a Cool Writers club? Who would be in it? Jane Austen, for one, and then I'd never get in once she read this post. But who else?

In any case, take it from a converted scoffer: you should read this book. It's funny. Not even English teacher or Shakespearean pun funny. Sarcastic and witty funny, with bits of dramatic irony mortified funny like squirming in your seat watching a sitcom character do something totally embarrassing. I could go on about how brilliant the characters are, how timeless the themes, how precise the writing, but, instead, I leave you with a question:

Fess up. What books have YOU pretended to have read?

8 comments:

WordWrangler said...

LOL!! I love that book. It's been a while since I read it - but I bought a cheap copy a year or two ago so I could read it again. Have I? Only bits and pieces -- but they remind me of how much I enjoyed it! :)

As for the book I pretended to read: Moby Dick. I used to just nod my head and act like I knew all the themes, characters, etc. Imean, really, who HASN'T heard of the gigantic whale book? How different from JAWS could it be/

Apparently -- very different. LOL!

hugs,
Donna

J. Thorp said...

I can't think of a time I've actually faked having read a book -- that's dangerous to do, working at a university -- but I have "nodded my familiarity" many times ... People regularly make the assumption that I am better read and watched than I am. I am happy to let that assumption stand, since the only thing worse than feeling like the dumbest person in the room is opening my mouth and confirming it.

As for Moby Dick -- the metal band Mastodon has a Moby Dick-themed disk entitled Leviathan. Who needs Cliff's Notes? After a couple of listens, you feel las though you can almost grasp the book now -- if only you could understand what the #@?! they're yelling about.

Jacqui said...

Donna: HA! I thought everyone had read Moby Dick.

Oh, wait. I never read Moby Dick either. Hmm. This is getting embarrassing.

I think I know what my summer reading project is going to be. More on that soon.

And thanks for coming by!

Jacqui said...

Jim, I am an expert at the head nod, as well as at the look at the sky and say, "I think so" when asked if I've read something, and the "Oh! Pride and Prejudice! Of course!" as if I've read it, when I really mean "Of course, yes, that's the name of a book."

WordWrangler said...

Mastodon, um, would this be a good time to practice my head nod? Ya know, the "I'v-heard-the-name-but-never-listened-to-a-lick-of-their- music-and-wouldn't-know-them-if-they-came-up-and-bit-me-on-the-arm nod"? They wouldn't come up and bite me on the arm...would they? Or bite off my leg? The shark in JAWS did that, right? :)

Would now be a bad time to admit I've never watched the entirety of JAWS, either? So, why haven't I read Moby Dick or watched all of Jaws? Wait for it...

I didn't want to bite off more than I could chew.

Yes, I know. Pitiful humor at it's best. :)

Jacqui said...

WordWrangler, you are my kind of punster. That was interrupt my husband and read aloud funny. I'm so glad you're here.

J. Thorp said...

I'm kinda diggin' the Wordwrangler right now, too ...

Don't worry; I don't listen to Mastodon either. At least not often. Now, my wife, on the other hand ...

;)

cath c said...

too funny, and you still beat me to it...