Winstons coffee Austen fear

Last night I was sat in bed with Amanda ,We started to watch a programme from the other night called unfinished .This was  part of the BBC ‘s on going  season of  Dickens related programmes for his 200th anniversary .What we got was a general show mainly focused on the last dickens novel the mystery of Edwin Drood ,which was shown earlier in the week in a new tv version that had been finished by the screenwriter Gwyneth Hughes ,she had written her own ending based on the feeling she had for the book and its characters .Of course since it was written there has been many books written completing and others wondering what might have happened .Well I m rambling here other parts of the show focused on other books and painting that haven’t been finished .One of these was the last Jane Austen novel Sanditon ,I vaguely knew of this book .But knew little or nothing on its plot which is about the beginnings of a new seaside town called Sanditon and is told by the people who live there using her usual style of insight and social commentary  .I have read three of her novels when in my late teens early twenties so nearly twenty years ago and I was neither a huge fan or disliked them at the time,main reason for reading them was the girls seemed to like her books and it maybe gave me something to talk about as a shy youth  with the fairer sex ,but  I have never gone back maybe because I have a fear of her as I know that to  so many people her writing is important and her books mean a lot to them and I’d hate  to go back and not like her works  .But this book has grabbed my attention I like it when I here a little bit about a book and I grabbed like I am now to go out and buy it .the main reason is  I ve always had an interest in how seaside towns got where they where and how some flourished and others like it seems in this case others were destined to fail .Who like some of the characters  made this happen as on the whole it seems to have been a single or small group of people who lead to the growth of a number of seaside towns .I feel this may be a Book door back to Austen for me as she is a writer I want to like and get to know again , plus I recently brought a nice hard back of pride and prejudice cheap and have been dying yet on the other hand  scared of reading it ,I feel this is a male think with female writers of this time so as this is a rambling type post where I let my thoughts out on subjects. I wonder are there male writers that women are scared to tackle ? and if other male readers have women writers that give them a worry ? 

29 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Bellezza
    Jan 15, 2012 @ 19:59:06

    To answer your question, how about Bolano? I’m not feeling any love for him right now, back deep into a second slump.

    I’m rather surprised you’re enjoying Austen, I wouldn’t normally put you two together in my mind. But, we’re anything if not readers with a wide range of interests in authors to discover…


    • winstonsdad
      Jan 15, 2012 @ 20:03:39

      I think Bolano is a acquired taste for either sex ,I feel I need to try more women writers from that era as I ve neglected them and think it is a area that has influenced writing round the world ,all the best stu


  2. Bellezza
    Jan 15, 2012 @ 20:20:22

    for that matter, I could read more Austen myself. I didn’t like Northanger Abbey, but that’s not to say I don’t like all of her books. Pride and Prejudice was my favorite, and I absolutely loved the PBS series a few winters ago. I’m envious of the tv you have in England. American tv is, in general, just awful.


  3. JoV
    Jan 15, 2012 @ 20:29:38

    I was about to say I could take on any male authors but since Bellezza mentioned Bolano, I think that’s the one for me too. Ever since 2666, I was so worried about reading his other books. I think you will find much joy in Austen and some great women writers. 🙂


  4. Parrish
    Jan 15, 2012 @ 21:06:29

    Guess what! I Loathe Austen, but it’s not down to her gender, my attitude is also aimed fair & square at Dickens as well, unless of course there’s something he wasn’t saying. As to female writers I like Yoko Ogawa, Hitomi Kanehara, Olga Grushin,Isabel Allende,Germaine Greer, Anaïs Nin, Sylvia Plath, Doris Lessing, simone de beauvoir,Nuala Ní Chonchúir,Natsuo Kirino, Françoise Sagan, Iris Murdoch,Órfhlaith Foyle etc & that’s not even counting all those that just concentrate on poetry. I think my issue is down to the staid mannerisms & to be honest if she was writing today it would be marketed under “ChickLit” where her honour is to be the originator of it.


    • whisperinggums
      Jan 16, 2012 @ 02:14:00

      Oh Parrish, if you think that then you need to look at Austen again. What might seem to be staid mannerisms are simply the customs and manners of her time but if you read below that you get such wickedly wise commentary on humanity that you want to come back for more. Every time I read Austen I have a new “ah so” moment. I see something new in her commentary, in her plotting, in her irony and wit. My desert island author for sure! As for originator of chick lit that would be like dismissing Tolstoy, say, for originating the war novel. The shell/formula might be there but the sophistication of commentary makes them classes of their own! (Excuse me Stu, for jumping in, but I couldn’t resist it!)


      • Parrish
        Jan 16, 2012 @ 19:46:24

        Hello Whisperinggums, I wish it were so, I do not like to deprive myself of any literary avenue, but have tried Austen, several times,the last in some misguided attempt to impress my wife to be, who likes both Austen & Dickens but alas each time has ended as a cul de sac of despair. As to the period, I love, was once obsessed by Balzac, love Hardy, Maupassant & Flaubert. I have even sat with my wife & attempted to watch the Tv dramas, but end up rocking in my chair & mumbling profanities (not a pretty sight) so I’m afraid it’s a hopeless case. As for Tolstoy being the originator of the War novel, wouldn’t that be Homer but then being the influence/originator of most of the canon of western literature, he probably originated chicklit. So now having destroyed my own argument by shooting myself in the foot, I shall crawl off to my to my hiding hole & count my regrets.

      • whisperinggums
        Jan 16, 2012 @ 23:35:26

        Ha Parrish … one of the reasons I married my husband was because he liked Jane Austen – and will happily watch all those period TV dramas. Clearly though your wife saw through your disdain for Austen to a nonetheless fine mind and gave you the benefit of the doubt!

        As for Tolstoy … a paltry analogy to be sure but the best I could come up with, which I guess means it doesn’t prove any point though in my mind it does!

    • winstonsdad
      Jan 22, 2012 @ 13:43:20

      oh well I do love dickens,sure it would be market as chick lit in a way but much better written than most of the genre ,all the best stu


  5. Kinna
    Jan 15, 2012 @ 22:17:12

    I’m yet to read an Austen. I have avoided her for so long but I plan on remedying that his year. Some male and female authors do give me trouble. I’m still tyring to get past the first chapter of The Bone People by Keri Hulme!


  6. amanda
    Jan 15, 2012 @ 22:49:36

    Huh. If I find a book intimidating it usually has to do with the length rather than who the author is, so I can’t think of any examples in particular. I am enough of an Austen fan to have read her unfinished Sanditon, and then was disappointed when it was over! There are several variations of “completions” of it, but I can’t remember which I read and whether they were any good or not.

    I’m predisposed to liking whatever I read, but I know that even Austen fans don’t all like all of her books–or even the same ones. You may find that you like one or the other better or not, but if you liked the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice you will probably like the novel.


  7. Emily Jane
    Jan 15, 2012 @ 22:59:36

    I was intimidated by Jane Austen until I actually read her, and now she’s one of my “comfort” authors. I find her books really fun and also relaxing. There are definitely authors of both sexes that I find intimidating, but usually that feeling disappears once I actually become acquainted with them.


  8. Penny
    Jan 16, 2012 @ 04:33:28

    Yes, I’d say there could be a problem with women readers and Norman Mailer. He’s all huff-huff punch-punch. Hearsay had it that women + Norman Mailer were not a problem; he was the lit-celeb version of Picasso. Another that women readers have a problem reading is Cormac McCarthy. McCarthy has no women in his stories at all. He seems to write exclusively for men; actually in an interview (with the queen of marketing Oprah, on yourtube now) he said he doesn’t care who reads his stories. He doesn’t give a shit. Just writes.


  9. Sarah
    Jan 16, 2012 @ 21:12:55

    I always reckon to have read all of Austen, but I haven’t read Sanditon… Will be interested to see what you make of it. Objectively I would have to agree with Whispering Gums, but my instinctive sympathies are with Parrish…

    A male writer who scares women? Philip Roth? I don’t know if I could bring myself to tackle another of his novels. (For the record I am a woman who lists Cormac McCarthy amongst my favourite authors 🙂 )


    • Penny
      Jan 16, 2012 @ 22:03:09

      I have read all the Cormac McCarthy books also, but my reading friends who are women do not like to read his work. Too male, I am told by them, too violent, too much of an elimination of women in the storylines. He does have a firm focus on his subject. I do admire his skills at research, creating characters, following a storyline firmly. At writing his is indeed a strong male hand. (I also very much like Austen). The violence does shake me, as a woman, and in reading McCarthy I do get to the too-much point myself; it’s so Klingon. But since his focus is, with rare exception, the founding of the American West, he does it very very well.


    • winstonsdad
      Jan 22, 2012 @ 13:37:38

      I not sure if that is just roths novels haven’t been great last few years I read the sex one from a few years ago the humbling and hated it but have like his earlier books ,all the best stu


  10. Heather
    Jan 17, 2012 @ 16:06:04

    Are there male authors I am too scared to tackle? I think you have something there. Some of the books on hubby’s shelf are just too masculine for me. There are titles with very long ranging wars and battles that I have tried to read, but they totally fail to capture my interest. He has a whole series of books that I read the backs of and then return them to the shelf. They are written by men for men. To be fair, there are books on my shelf that will never interest my husband and most are written by women.


    • winstonsdad
      Jan 22, 2012 @ 13:34:51

      To be truthfulthere are some male writer that maybe write historic war drama I struggle with the cornwalls and that ,I just hope I get austen this time ,all the best stu


  11. nymeth
    Jan 19, 2012 @ 17:11:13

    Like Emily Jane, I find myself intimidated by many authors regardless of gender. Virginia Woolf was a big one for me until only about two years ago. But I’m incredibly glad I took the plunge. Even if you don’t get on with Austen, I bet you’ll be glad to know for sure.


  12. Tony
    Jan 20, 2012 @ 04:06:38

    Probably Sylvia Plath – her work just does not appeal to me at all. Oh, and anything chick-litty which has hot-pink anywhere on the cover…


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January 2012


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