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And for 2014...

When I first started my Odyssey blog in January of 2012, I wasn't even sure I would finish it. I certainly didn't think that, two years later, having (almost) reached the conclusion of a second full year of blogging, this time on War and Peace, that I would be announcing the third year's project--my most ambitious yet.

I say the most ambitious yet, and, in terms of page count, that is absolutely true, because instead of reading one book by an author, we're reading all the completed major works by a single author. Unfortunately for readers, she only left us six completed novels when she died--a perfect number of perfect novels, as an old teacher of mine once wrote. Fortunately for readers, however, Jane Austen's six completed works are all among the greatest novels in English and will provide me with ample material to explicate and riff on in 2014.

This choice will not come as a surprise to anyone who knows me, as Austen is my favorite author, and I have read all of these novels multiple times. Indeed, I've written about many of them in the past, and have thought rather seriously about them all for a long time--since I was a teenager, really. Re-encountering and writing about her works will be sheer pleasure (yes, even Mansfield Park), almost entirely untainted by a sense of obligation. This will, hopefully, allow me to spend my obligation time elsewhere, as it were.

Whether you're a long time Austenite (my preferred term--showing due respect for the author's own mores, unlike the overly familiar Janeite), or her works are entirely or largely new to you, I'd love you to join me in reading through her mature works. A fuller, more detailed break-down of readings and dates will follow by the end of the year, but the general outline will be from earlier to later, so: Northanger Abbey, Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Emma, and lastly, Persuasion. I might even make the occasional detour into discussions of her Juvenilia, her unfinished works (The Watsons and Sanditon), and adaptations of her works--because really, is it even possible to think of Mr. Darcy *without* thinking of a dripping Colin Firth in this day and age?

So, coming in January--#Austen2014!


  1. I am intrigued, sir, by this. Most intrigued.

  2. Ooh! This is one I might be able to stick with! :)


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