12 Matching Annotations
  1. Feb 2019
  2. Oct 2017
    1. Emma’s multiplicity of subplots, andits preoccupation with the reading, rereading and misreading of writing within,and events internal to, the text, renders the novel a manifesto for Austen’sapproach to the‘‘judicious’’, critical reading necessary to understanding thefunction of literary influence in her fiction

      The author makes it clear that she will be explicating her thesis via the example of Emma. In this sentence, she connects Austen's approach to reading, writing, and readership to the notion of literary fiction. Again, I'm not sure if the following paragraphs do live up to the expectation she sets up here.

    2. It is this practice of judicious, critical, ingenuous reading that we mustadopt in order to understand the ways in which Austen uses the texts of otherwriters to create her own fiction*in order, that is, to rethink the meaningof‘‘influence’’as it pertains to this central figure in the history of women’swriting.

      In this sentence, the author makes a transition between Austen's expectations for her readership's literary knowledge and reading practices and the notion of literary influence. Here, she argues that Austen's requirement for "judicious, critical, ingenuous reading" is necessary for the reader to understand how influence operates in Austen. I am not quite sure if I agree with this assessment. In the later paragraphs, I do not feel that the author's argument explicitly shows that informed readership is necessary to understand influence in Emma. Rather, the audience gives more of a plot summary and information about the reading practices within the novel, not those required for its audience.

    3. Austen, unsurprisingly,rejects Brunton’s didacticism wholeheartedly. She also tones down Brunton’sheroine, and Emma Woodhouse has none of Ellen Percy’s monstroustendencies.

      This coincides with the notion of influence from the beginning of the article that claims that influence occurs with a misreading or revision of the original work.

    4. The catalyst forthe novel, however, seems to have been a straightforward reaction to a newwork by an author Austen considered her competition*the Scottish MaryBrunton’sDiscipline(1814).Disciplineis a fictional autobiography with the strong religious themes ofsin, repentance and redemption.

      The author claims here that Emma was inspired by the 1814 novel Discipline by Mary Brunton, which surely is not part of the male literary canon laid out earlier in the article. The author outlines the main themes of Discipline and explains the relationship between the two authors.

      I feel like a broken record here, but again, this seems to be a very tenuous point without computational analysis. The author's own language belies this tenuousness as she says that the novel's inspiration "seems to have been a straightforward reaction" to another novel. The word "seems" does not inspire confidence.

    5. s the late Brian Southam has noted, Austen benefited personally from thisimportant educational development through her access to an extraordinarilybroad range of literature from a very young age.8By the time she came topublish her novels, the benefits of this advance in education were being felt inan unparalleled expansion and sophistication of literary culture.

      Here, the author ties Austen's education in with her expectations of her readership.

  3. Sep 2017
    1. Austen allows Emma to imaginatively misattribute herself. In doing so,she offers the reader a literary red herring. While Harriet may fall in and out oflove as if she is subject to one of Puck’s spells,Emmatakes its cues from adifferent Shakespearean comedy.24Emma, who has‘‘very little intention of ever marrying at all’’, yet is happyto consider Frank Churchill as a potential husband (84), resembles Olivia, the‘‘too proud’’heiress of Shakespeare’sTwelfth Night, whose resolution to live‘‘like a cloistress’’is quickly abandoned when she meets Viola, disguised as aboy.25

      In this brief introduction to the next section of the paper, Murphy challenges existing scholarship that aligns Emma with Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. Rather, the author outlines the parallels between Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. I find the connection somewhat tenuous as it almost ignores all of the gender bending and performance of Twelfth Night. While the author's later claim that "the broader themes of deliberate misrepresentation and self-serving delusions" are the tie between the two plays, I find that ignoring the aspects of performance and disguise is problematic.

      I also think that this takes away from Murphy's main argument, which is that Austen's view of influence is broader than the historically main canon, evidence by her parody of Brunton's novel. This section seems to show the opposite, which is a parallel between Austen and Shakespeare.

    2. It is not to be expected that any character withinEmmamight be able toexercise the kind of judgment of its creator or perform the kind of judiciousreading that Austen’s text ultimately demands. This does not prevent Austenfrom demonstrating how her characters can betaughtto read and to judgeclearly.

      Here, Murphy makes the connection back to readership and the characters of Emma.

      This, incidentally, made me think of the quote on the new British ten pound note: "I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading!" which was certainly a satirical denotation.

    3. Like other quixotic heroines before her, Emma has a habit of turningeverything she sees into a romance plot.

      Much like Catherine in Northanger Abbey!

    4. Austen’s debt to Brunton is in the tradition of eighteenth-century parody,a descendant of works likeJoseph Andrews(1742), and does not indicate herartistic approbation of the novelist or her works.

      This is a key point as Murphy argues that while Austen is influenced by Brunton, it does not mean that she endorses her work. Rather, as Murphy states later, Emma is a direct rejection and parody of Brunton's "didacticism" (106).

    5. If we enlarge our understanding of the concept of‘‘influence’’, we canbegin to see the ways in which artistically unremarkable, canonicallydisregarded works inform the development even of masterpieces. Ros Ballastercorrectly states that:[...] most women novelists of the eighteenth century tended to locatetheir own writing in relation to a strong line of male predecessors orcontemporaries [...] if women read each other’s work they did not, forthe most part, openly acknowledge influence.16Jane Austen is the exception to this rule. Far from shamefacedly concealing herdebt to Brunton’s novel, on the contrary, Austen’s linguistic allusions toDisciplineinEmmadraw the reader’s attention to the two novels’intimateconnection

      This is a key section. Here, the author claims that Jane Austen's Emma is influenced by the rather unremarkable and certainly much less well known novel Discipline. This is in contrast to the existing tradition. Murphy cites and agrees with Ballaster's argument that 18th century women authors situated their own work within the male tradition and did not seek recognition for the influence of other female authors. However, Murphy argues that Austen makes obvious the connection to Brunton.

    6. Despite the continued aggravations ofconservative, moralistic, unskilful novel readers, whose tedious responsesto her innovative fiction Austen collected in her‘‘Opinions’’ofEmmaandMansfield Park(1814), Austen could rely on a growing phalanx of clever,curious and‘‘judicious’’readers whose taste for more complex literary fare hadbeen nurtured since childhood.

      Here, the author summarizes her paragraph on education and access to literature to bolster her argument about Austen's assumptions about the knowledge level of her readership. I believe that this is an important point, as it shows WHY and HOW Austen was able to have such high expectations for her readers.