Notes from Philly

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Jane Austin’s secret source

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Out of her young, questioning self, came the grave certainty that the family was the source of art, just as every novel is the fate of a child.

It might be argued that all literature is ultimately about family, the creation of structures – drama, poetry, fiction –
that reflect our immediate and randomly assigned circle of others –
what families do to us and how they can be re-imagined or transcended.

Carol Shields on
Jane Austin
(*Penguin Lives, copyright 2001)

This series is an amazing feat of publishing. Best minds compressing original thought on writers you wouldn’t think there would be anything left to say. Shields on Austin so taut, it sent me to her own work. Just finishing up the superb: Stone Diaries, which some time ago won the Pulitzer, and is a very fine, swift read, and yes, it spins the circle of family.

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Written by Lesley Valdes

February 10, 2010 at 4:57 pm

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