Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Sense and Meta-bility
Marilyn Sachs meta-fictionalizes Pride and Prejudice and Jane Austen in her new novel, First Impressions (Brodie/Roaring Brook, 2006). After positing in a term paper that P&P is "really a tragedy that just got away from the author" and whose true fulcrum is the hardly-mentioned sister Mary Bennet, Alice is forced by her teacher to do a thorough rewrite--of the paper, but Alice instead finds herself irresistibly drawn to rewriting Austen's novel, despite the ample good reasons for not doing so provided by her life as well as by the spectral presence of Austen herself. Sachs's book is ambitious but sweet, too--although I still think there might be something to Alice's original theory. I guess that makes me an Austenite.