37 Matching Annotations
  1. Sep 2017
    1. The keen feeling of hazard and loss that attends Elizabeth’s point of view—the caution Jane gives her that Elizabeth’s habit of interpretation will “ruin [her] happiness”—is lost in a critical interpretation that celebrates her character as a representative of either social progress, cultural conservation or aesthetic consolidation.

      Moe excellently addresses how narrative and Elizabeth's ideas interferes (and mislabels) the possibilities of progressive and modern actions. Elizabeth ends her friendship with Charlotte (essentially) because of their difference of interpretation (of the "modern" action)

    2. This “Jane Austen,” the author of a body of texts that circulated across four continents within decades of their publication in England, has a less obvious relationship to the western ideal of the liberal autonomous individual

      A weak aspect to this article is that Moe often makes unclear transitions in her argumentation. This is one of these cases.

      Further, does this then mean that Austen has her own individual understanding of "modernity"? Then, perhaps, both Elizabeth and Charlotte are modern in their own respective ways.

    3. subjective orientation toward freedom, progress, and self-growth that is so clearly formative for Elizabeth Bennet is not taken for granted by Austen as normative for all women. Charlotte Lucas marries Mr. Collins and expects to live a fulfilling life with him. Conscious of Elizabeth’s differing views, Charlotte anticipates being hurt by her friend’s disapprobation, but makes no excuses for her marriage as an act martyrdom or of submis-sion to crushing necessity

      Moe argues here that Elizabeth is the progressive one, yet it seemed to me earlier in the article that Charlotte's actions would be expressed as modern in their own way (at least that is what I gained from reading aspects of this article). Is Moe trying to prove both?

    4. While the varieties of couples and companions demonstrate Austen’s interest in multiple modes of intimacy, for Elizabeth, Charlotte’s deviancy from “proper” intimacy in one area of her life disqualifies her in another.

      Something that I believe Moe should address is the question of whether "deviancy" is considered the same as "modernity"?

    5. One of the most powerful effects of Austen’s novel is to show how attitudes toward marriage provide overriding norms that dictate forms of intimacy outside those cultivated within the conjugal couple.

      Yes, and this is where the reconsideration of "modernity" also comes into play. What is a "modern" marital decision? Who is allowed to make such judgements?

    6. Elizabeth treats Charlotte’s marriage as a form of moral deviancy

      Wouldn't "moral deviancy," then, be considered "modern" in a sense?

    7. Charlotte’s marginalization highlights the limitations that Elizabeth’s views about intimacy place on her emotional and intel-lectual curiosity.43 Austen reminds us of the lack of communication between the two former friends by having Elizabeth hypothesize at the end of her visit that she knows Charlotte’s real feelings, though they go unvoiced: “Poor Charlotte!—it was melancholy to leave her to such society!—But she had chosen it with her eyes open; and though evidently regretting that her visitors were to go, she did not seem to ask for compassion” (P, 233). Though Woloch argues that Elizabeth, by this point in the novel (after visiting Rosings and having read Darcy’s revealing letter) “has become the consciousness around which the novel—as a totality—is oriented,” Elizabeth’s parting interpretation of Charlotte’s inner life offers another example of Elizabeth reading social situations aslant: she is confident Charlotte is “evidently regret-ting” her departure, but perplexed that not only does Charlotte not ask for compassion, but she does not even seem to.

      Wow! This is a great excerpt. Here, Moe not only identifies Elizabeth's misjudging of what a "modern" woman chooses, but she again also points out Elizabeth's flaw in putting words/thoughts in other peoples' mouths/minds. Charlotte is (assumedly) content in her role, but it is Elizabeth projecting her own fears onto Charlotte's decision that makes her, in the end, a poor friend to Charlotte. This, again, further the nearly impossible question: who is the more modern woman?

    8. But, Charlotte’s cathexis of marriage as an institution stands in striking comparison to Elizabeth’s acute surprise at her own hidden internal depths and her sudden discovery of a change of heart about the object of her affection. Charlotte does not experience a sudden change of heart, nor does she acknowledge that fear of approaching middle age prompted her sudden engagement, since I think we are supposed to believe her (Elizabeth certainly does), when she reveals “marriage has always been [her] object.”

      Moe's comparison of Elizabeth and Charlotte strengthens her arguments about the institution of marriage within this time frame. Though both women have different expectations of what mate they will end up with, they are both inherently and consciously seeking marriage. But how does this play into the concept of modernity? Does that make them both un-modern? Or does the method of how they both were marriage make their distinct in their different levels of modernity?

    9. Charlotte seems to inhabit the worst of both worlds; even in the domestic sphere her movements, conversation, and enjoy-ment are all checked.

      Moe seems to contradict herself at times. Is Charlotte "modern"? Within the same paragraph, she seems to promote Charlotte choice, while also diminishing it. Or is Moe trying to argue that despite an optimistic, "modern" thought process, women's happiness and success are still in the hands of the men they marry? It is unclear.

    10. From Charlotte’s perspective, personal fulfillment, growth, and happiness progress (or regress) with equal precariousness inside or outside the couple, and a loving marriage appears to her as an external, only occasionally relevant condition of her future internal well-being. Marriage is a tolerable constraint within which her flour-ishing does not have to be seriously curtailed.

      I would argue that this is a "modern" determination of marriage for the period.

    11. Defending her future against the claims of the present (her embarrassing family, her disappointing friend), means that the future expands, freed of its current burdens, to accommodate a future self who will have grown with “greater importance” and a future couple whose mutual progress demands a marital space purified of all intrusions.

      It's interesting that so many contemporary readers see Elizabeth's marriage as very conventional, when she is striving to fulfill this "future self." I would be interested in seeing Moe identifying the many critiques of Elizabeth's marriage as non-modern, and working through them to defend her argument.

    12. By doing just what she ought, Charlotte falls short of what Elizabeth would have a self-respecting woman do: surpass expectations by getting the more pedestrian ones wrong. She later gets Darcy to admit that his attraction flourished under her practice of not trying to please. Much of the flirtation between Darcy and Elizabeth draws on a mutual desire not to meet expectations

      Moe defines what Elizabeth considers a "self-respecting," modern woman to be. By clearly stating this, Moe clearly accentuates the points and support to her argument.

    13. Elizabeth’s process of self-realization through discovering how wrong she was is consistent with her more general practice of negatively inhabiting social expectations. Her course of self-affirmation through negation is opposite to that of Charlotte Lucas, who, despite her age and appearance, surprises and overjoys her family by doing just what young ladies are supposed to do and what everyone supposed she would fail to do: marry.

      Moe purposely poses the two characters against each other to express their severe difference in behaving "modernly." Yet, this succinct sentence is a disservice to the full reasoning for Charlotte's choices. It is easy to judge Charlotte as a contemporary reader, but her decision--though not remarkable--it still not something we should completely bash.

    14. Elizabeth’s discontent stems from the way that she grafts individual choice onto social forms. Marriage, for Elizabeth, should not be defined by its being an omnipresent social form; it should be made meaningful by the intentions behind it.

      Moe aptly presents her argument again, as she argues that Elizabeth's frustration with Charlotte, for example, has to do with her own issues managing her frustration with "social forms." Moe allows the reader to "fill in the blank" here, as the reader can use this piece of information to better understand Elizabeth's reaction to Charlotte--her frustration is in Charlotte's refusal to resist the social forms that inherently oppress women and impact the emotional aspect of marriage. By giving her reader room to make this judgement herself, Moe's argument consequently becomes more concrete.

    15. older woman reminds Elizabeth, that to call such ubiquitous events injurious is to place mistaken emphasis on what is merely ordinary

      Another conflict of modernity. Young thought versus older thought.

    16. Elizabeth’s confidence that “independent” young men with “indepen-dent” fortunes always act freely is undercut at several points by the sly Austenian voice, who lauds “the fire and independence of [Mr. Collins’s] character”

      This is also interesting for a modern reader in the discussion of what makes a young man act "manly" or not, bringing up, again, a discrepancy in modernity, but now this difference is between Austen and her contemporary reader.

    17. ******

      The different theses Moe presents to her reader are all an original take on reading Charlotte and Elizabeth's argument, and Charlotte's individual views, especially considering the extensive description of the typical reading of these characters which Moe provides us with.

      This introduction, though at times distracted from the main point through inclusion of so many outside theories and readings of Elizabeth/Charlotte/Austen, definitely engages the reader, provides grounding for Moe's argument, and makes this subject appear significant in understanding the conflict of modern viewpoints in Pride and Prejudice, as well as to better understand Charlotte as a character and her decisions.

    18. Austen’s work might instead be interpreted as the scene of agonistic coexistence in which the discus-sions between Elizabeth and Charlotte and the deterioration of their friendship animate competing conceptions of self, moral agency, and modes of affective living

      THESIS part 4: differences based on modernities animate "competing conceptions of self, moral agency, and modes of affective living." This ties Moe's earlier points about agency into the discussion of narrative and modernity.

    19. Charlotte Lucas offers a compelling point of departure for bringing the critical perspective of “multiple [ / ] modernities” into eighteenth-century novel studies.

      MAIN POINT/THESIS part 3: Charlotte is a different kind of character, applies to several forms of "modernities" and should be critically examined.

    20. development of modern subjectivity, where the modern subject is assumed to be oriented toward freedom and inner-directed action, overlooks some of the most intriguing aspects of disagreements among women in Austen’s novels and foregoes an opportunity, which becomes more pertinent to feminists every day, to make the novel relevant to subjects and especially to female subjectivities whose self-cultivation takes the form of perseverance, self-discipline, and the daily prac-tice of living in accordance with social practices that do not appear germane to liberation. Charlotte Lucas presents conceptual challenges to feminist theorists and gender analysts because her expectations do not fit those of a romantic plot.

      THESIS part 2: the development of "modern subjectivity." This can sometimes draw attention from disagreements between women in Austen novels. Charlotte challenges the "social practices that do not appear germane to liberation." She does not follow a romantic plot.

      Moe questions the problem with viewing Elizabeth as the sole modern, feminist character.

    21. Austen develops heroines like Elizabeth Bennet to be ambassadors for novelistic generic acceptance at the same time that they are agents of social reform. The marriage plot is the exemplary union of both, carried forward by Elizabeth Bennet as the upwardly mobile bourgeois female subject who becomes responsible for the modernization of aristocratic culture into which she is accepted.

      Moe acknowledges Elizabeth as the "modern" character, though her modernity is still restrained by the necessity of her getting married.

    22. In the tradition of feminist criticism I’ve been discussing, the Austenian heroine and her romantic choices are exemplary not only of the modern individual, but also the novel genre, so that the interaction between genre and indi-vidual agency unfolds through the marriage plot

      Now we seem to be back on topic, concerning narrative and modernity, in reference to the marriage plot.

    23. Austen exposed the patriarchal conditions of her historical moment and the way romantic conventions coded for power and wealth, while simultaneously using the constraints of her provincial and domestic settings to her advantage, demonstrating the duplicitous aptitude of romantic narratives to make those conditions visible

      Important point. By evaluating Austen's patriarchal setting and consequential ability to write about women during this constrained period, Moe extrapolates upon Austen's achievements as a writer, further subverting Lewes' critique. Thus, she denounces the past reading of Austen to promote her own, modern and feminist, reading.

    24. My focus on Charlotte Lucas resonates with recent critical trends that depart from the assumption that the novel’s telos, particularly as revealed in the courtship plot, is the representation of personhood through characterological depth and interiority

      One of the main purposes of the article. Moe sets out to oppose, or at least challenge, previous readings of the novel (and is thus her placement within a scholarly discourse), to reconsider how actions of "characterological depth and interiority" are formed within the courtship plot, and how it is impacted by cultural modernity. She does this through a reading of Charlotte Lucas.

    25. Narratives have limited resources—formal development, narrative attention, and thematic social goods—that are unequally distributed between protagonists and minor characters. In the process of being “minored,” the many clarify the one; in Pride and Prejudice, minor characters “contribut[e] to the development of Elizabeth’s consciousness.”5 As Elizabeth’s close friend and, in many ways, catalyst for her development, Charlotte is both a minor character par excel-lence and a register of the costs of such a system of individuation

      It is important to relate the concept of cultural modernity and Charlotte's choices to narrative, as that is the main point of the argument (though Moe's thesis is not clearly stated just yet). Also fascinating to label all the minor characters are developmental aspects to Elizabeth; this is quite dehumanizing, but is quite arguable. Austen, therefore, purposefully has Charlotte marry Collins as part of further promoting Elizabeth's vehement feelings about marriage.

    26. Yet, Charlotte’s stance is important to think through two hundred years later as a reminder of the multiplicity of attitudes toward intimacy, conjugality, and self-fulfillment in Austen’s fiction. This multiplicity remains unstudied by a tradition of Austen criticism that too often remains bound, even in contemporary feminist forms, to the analytic and prescriptive parameters of liberal personhood as those are under-stood to have emerged at the end of the eighteenth century.

      Moe points out that many Austen critics do not view Charlotte's decisions regarding marriage as "modern," yet as a victim of the 18th century patriarchy, Charlotte's actions make a lot of sense.

  2. Apr 2017
    1. Bohr’s philosophy-physics (the twowere inseparable for him)

      Something Latour does in We Have Never Been Modern is highlight Robert Boyle and Thomas Hobbes as both scientists and social theorists, in spite of later, Modern divisions between the fields. He sees them differing in both fields on the same issue, related to the air pump and whether impartial observers or mathematical calculations as the verification of knowledge.

    1. As a community, they had evaded most of the standards of modernity for a community: they lacked a full literacy rate, did not possess a written language or written history, and pertained to ritual practice as a primary mode of expression and entertainment.

      As was oft the dialogue during the time, the Soviet Union had claimed a victory for modernity of the Northern People following its firm establishment as a nation, beginning most prominently in the 1950’s. As indigenous communities, the Soviets had believed they had succeeded in transcending the communities across time and into the present: they had taking a primitive society and bypassed it through the developmental modes of production (slavery, feudalism, capitalism) to achieve the pinnacle of socialism. Thus, these communities were largely perceived to be drawn out of “timelessness and brought (them) into history” (227). This would serve to not be the case, as the resilience of the Nenet community would show.

      An interesting discussion on the restructuring of the Siberian indigenous identity is found in chapter 13 of the following text:

      Gayla Diment and Yuri Slezkine, Between Heaven and Hell: The Myth of Siberia in Russian Culture (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1993).

  3. Mar 2017
    1. System A is all about integrity and health and the folk not as nodes in a machine, but as a growing, adapting, distributed and living whole. It is the difference between a neighborhood and a housing development.
  4. Oct 2016
    1. There is not even solitude in the mountains But red sullen faces sneer and snarl From doors of mudcracked houses                                       If there were water

      This continues to remind me of the film Taxi Driver, where De Niro's characters calls for the rain to waste away and cleanse the city of its all it's vices and sins. He drives late into the night, disgusted with his environment and fueled with anger and rage. Moreover, the mountains which is the anthesis of the city is also affected by the absence of rain.

    2. I think we are in rats’ alley Where the dead men lost their bones.

      This is about modernity and how we inherit this world where the past remains and death residents in the slums of the streets. It's the grit and the grime, it's the hustle and bustle, it's the city life at its rawest form.

    3. when the human engine waits Like a taxi throbbing waiting,

      A taxi is a symbol of modernity, where one can get from point a to point b to point z and back. Eliot descibes this restlessness people feel when they are anxious and dying for some form of action or stimulus.

  5. Aug 2016
    1.  As Neil Selwyn (2013) notes, the expansion of technology (and the rise of EdTech) coincides with a growth in libertarian ideals and neoliberal governmental policies, a one-two punch of individual exceptionalism and belief in the power of the outsider.
  6. Jul 2016
    1. “The future is already here, it’s just not evenly distributed.” 

      Been having issues with the ways this quote has been handled in various contexts, but it’s quite fitting here. One potential issue, though, is in the embedded assumption that the future is a solid. Goes so well with Modernization Theory that the focus on global inequalities can be skipped over.

  7. Apr 2016
    1. But I have emphasized many times that ”modernism” carries with it another idea, that of emancipation from some stagnant, archaic and stifling past, so that ”modern” is always a way to orient action according to an arrow of time that distinguishes the past from the future. An essential component of the concept of modernity is the idea of a future toward which we travel after a radical rupture with the past.

      The crucial formulation of Latour's argument—in tandem with the corollary, below, that "we have never been modern in the very simple sense that while we emancipated ourselves, each day we also more tightly entangled ourselves in the fabric of nature."

    2. Now for the definition of ”nature”. I think we could easily agree in this assembly that since nature is not ”wilderness” nor the outside, nor the harmonious providential balance, nor any sort of cybernetic machine, nor the opposite of artificial or technical, it would be much more expedient to forget entirely the word “nature” or to use it in William James’ definition: ”nature is but a name for excess”.

      This quote from James by Latour is priceless, and deep: nature is but a name for excess. I need to track down the source.