Sunday, October 22, 2006
Howard Jacobsen, writing in yesterday's Independent, talks about his "heroine addiction" - particular in relation to Jane Eyre's recent television adaption. I only caught the last two episodes, wrongly believing this would be BBC costume drama by numbers. I don't know the actress Ruth Wilson, who played Jane, but she was perfectly cast. Jacobsen talks about the importance of punctuation in Jane Eyre: that Bronte uses semicolons and colons to bring us closer to Jane, creating that closeness of empathy that grips most readers of the novel, and that we should revel in the novel's language, not wonder at its strangeness. "There was a time, you see, when a writer's being educated was not considered an imposition on the reader, or a hindrance to enjoyment," he comments. Indeed. He also says that the he remains "in thrall to the literary imagination of this country, which is in all essentials, female." I've not heard it put quite like that before - but its worth pointing out that the writers' education here, was homemade, auto-didactic, wide-ranging, not curriculum bound - the female daughter of a country parson's education.
Posted by Adrian Slatcher at 1:09 AM