By William Deresiewicz
Ahead of Jane Austen, William Deresiewicz used to be a truly varied younger guy. A sullen and conceited graduate scholar, he by no means concept Austen may have something to supply him. Then he learn Emma—and every thing changed.
In this certain and lyrical booklet, Deresiewicz weaves the misadventures of Austen’s characters together with his personal younger follies, demonstrating the facility of the good novelist’s teachings—and how, for Austen, growing to be up and making error are one and a similar. sincere, erudite, and deeply relocating, A Jane Austen Education is the tale of 1 man’s discovery of the realm open air himself.
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Extra info for A Jane Austen Education: How Six Novels Taught Me About Love, Friendship, and the Things That Really Matter
His intentions have been solid; he desired to retailer me the ache and bother of floundering round until eventually I received it correct. “I’ve already made these mistakes,” he may say. “I wish you to benefit from my event. ” yet his technique ignored the truth that he wasn’t continually going to be there to keep up me. So I by no means realized the best way to take care of myself, how you can care for salespeople or deal with cash, tips to make my very own manner on this planet. There i used to be, twenty-eight years previous and nonetheless observing the shampoo. I hadn’t helped myself via going again to varsity at Columbia. My father was once at the school, and since it have been loose for us, I had already long past there for faculty. i may have long past to Chicago this time, however the prospect of relocating to an strange urban, thousands of miles clear of virtually somebody I knew, was once now not whatever i may even start to think. So there i used to be back, again within the usual position, dwelling in an condo that was once essentially round the nook from his place of work. I’d drop through each infrequently, and he might take me out for chinese language nutrition. He wasn’t more than happy that i used to be learning English—he figured he may finally end up aiding me for the remainder of his life—and we'd fight approximately it over the chow enjoyable. “If I had my very own business,” he might say, “I would provide to take you in. yet you wouldn’t do it besides! ” I’d remind him that that was once precisely what had occurred among him and his personal father, who had owned a bit company within the Garment District (my father hadn’t desired to promote zippers to any extent further than i wished be a doctor), however it didn’t lower a lot ice. as a matter of fact, he by no means idea I’d get via graduate tuition. He hadn’t even inspiration I’d get in to graduate university. regardless of the subsequent problem used to be, he used to be yes I couldn’t meet it. After all—the common sense was once completely circular—hadn’t he continuously needed to support me out with every thing? He didn’t imagine I’d make the reduce after the 1st 12 months, and since I’d gotten C’s in high-school French—he spoke six languages himself—he used to be definite I’d by no means entire my language specifications. “I delight in the support,” I’d say, after which I’d thank him for lunch and head again to my crummy condominium. i used to be dwelling in that house whilst I learn Emma and broke it off with my female friend, and that i used to be nonetheless dwelling there a yr later whilst I learn my approach in the course of the remainder of Jane Austen. It was once the summer season after my 3rd 12 months in graduate institution. I had accomplished my classes (and definite, accomplished my language requirements), and now i used to be learning for the feared oral qualifying checks, which i might need to take that fall. It was once the final word educational patience attempt. I had 4 months to examine 100 books, after which I’d be close in a room with 4 professors who could grill me approximately them for 2 hours. It used to be additionally a ceremony of passage. as soon as I acquired via it—if I received via it—I’d be one step nearer, in expert phrases, to growing to be up and changing into a kind of professors myself. (My father, in fact, was once yes I’d by no means move. “You have your paintings lower out for you! ” he stated.