stylistic patterns in Jane Austen

Am ajuns aproape la jumătatea romanului Emma care numără nu mai puțin de 500 de pagini. Există un tipar, un pattern al scriiturii austeniene pe care trebuie să-l iei ca atare și să-l înghiți fără prea multe revolte, care ar însemna un consum de energie cu mult peste cel al lecturii în sine și care ar face, deci, lectura mult mai dificilă decât este deja. Următorul fragment este foarte grăitor în acest sens. Se referă la dilema lui Harriet, prietena Emei căreia Emma vrea să-i controleze viața și căreia i-a cam făcut-o muci, de a cumpăra niște muselină și oscilarea continuă între două adrese către care ar putea să trimită muselina:

Emma watched them in, and then joined Harriet at the interesting counter,—trying, with all the force of her own mind, to convince her that if she wanted plain muslin it was of no use to look at figured; and that a blue ribbon, be it ever so beautiful, would still never match her yellow pattern. At last it was all settled, even to the destination of the parcel.

“Should I send it to Mrs. Goddard’s, ma’am?” asked Mrs. Ford.— “Yes—no—yes, to Mrs. Goddard’s. Only my pattern gown is at Hartfield. No, you shall send it to Hartfield, if you please. But then, Mrs. Goddard will want to see it.—And I could take the pattern gown home any day. But I shall want the ribbon directly—so it had better go to Hartfield—at least the ribbon. You could make it into two parcels, Mrs. Ford, could not you?”
“It is not worth while, Harriet, to give Mrs. Ford the trouble of two parcels.”
“No more it is.”
“No trouble in the world, ma’am,” said the obliging Mrs. Ford.
“Oh! but indeed I would much rather have it only in one. Then, if you please, you shall send it all to Mrs. Goddard’s— I do not know—No, I think, Miss Woodhouse, I may just as well have it sent to Hartfield, and take it home with me at night. What do you advise?”
“That you do not give another half-second to the subject. To Hartfield, if you please, Mrs. Ford.”
“Aye, that will be much best,” said Harriet, quite satisfied, “I should not at all like to have it sent to Mrs. Goddard’s.”

Dacă aveți de gând vreodată să începeți să-l citiți, să nu fiți foarte surprinși de repetiția stilistică a acestui fragment care înseamnă cam peste 75% din tot romanul.

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Jane Austen has done it again!

Dacă în post-ul anterior vorbeam despre o scenă de sex exhibiționistă tipic scriiturii lui Jane (sau Janei) Austen, astăzi voi vrea să reproduc un fragment a unui viol ai cărui protagoniști sunt sunt aceiași Emma și Mr. Elton. Mr. Elton can’t take no for an answer și trece la treabă în trăsura cu care aceștia călătoresc înspre Hartfield. Libidoul nu cunoaște pudibonderiile victoriene:

“She believed he had been drinking too much of Mr. Weston’s good wine, and felt sure that he would want to be talking nonsense.

To restrain him as much as might be, by her own manners, she was immediately preparing to speak with exquisite calmness and gravity of the weather and the night; but scarcely had she begun, scarcely had they passed the sweep-gate and joined the other carriage, than she found her subject cut up – her hand seized – her attention demanded, and Mr. Elton actually making violent love to her: availing himself of the precious opportunity, declaring sentiments which must be already well known, hoping – fearing – adoring – ready to die if she refused him; but flattering himself that his ardent attachment and unequalled love and unexampled passion could not fail of having some effect, and in short, very much resolved on being seriously accepted as soon as possible. It really was so. Without scruple – without apology – without much apparent diffidence, Mr. Elton, the lover of Harriet, was professing himself her lover. She tried to stop him; but vainly; he would go on, and say it all”

Jane Austen în ipostaze dirty + scriitura XIX

Am fost foarte surprinsă să găsesc scriitura lui Jane Austen ca fiind foarte accesibilă, iar după vreo 30-40 de pagini citite din Emma, devenisem foarte sceptică de fidelitatea ediției față de original. Cu câteva scurte verificări pe internet mi-am dat seama că exact asta era limba. Sunt foarte surprinsă de cât de bine s-a păstrat limba engleză de la începutul din secolul XIX și de cât de inteligibilă poate fi pentru cititorul contemporan, chiar și cel străin. Chiar și așa, există contexte, construcții sintactice, mai exact, în textele lui Austen, aproape imposibile și nu foarte rare și, de altfel, în limbajul standard contemporan din literatură. Nu face excepție micul paragraf de jos:

“Emma listened, and then coolly said, ‘I shall not be satisfied, unless he comes.’
‘He may have a great deal of influence on some points,’ continued Mrs. Weston, ‘and on others, very little: and among those, on which she is beyond his reach, it is but too likely, may be this very circumstance of his coming away from them to visit us.’

Și ca bonus, o scenă de sex in absentia între Emma și Mr. Elton, tipică pentru perioadă victoriană:
“Emma’s project of forgetting Mr. Elton for a while, made her rather sorry to find, when they had all taken their places, that he was close to her. The difficulty was great of driving his strange insensibility towards Harriet, from her mind, while he not only sat at her elbow, but was continually obtruding his happy countenance on her notice, and solicitously addressing her upon every occasion. Instead of forgetting him, his behaviour was such that she could not avoid the internal suggestion of ‘Can it really be as my brother imagined? can it be possible for this man to be beginning to transfer his affections from Harriet to me? – Absurd and insufferable!’.
Scena e cu atât mai interesantă, cu cât totul se petrece la masă cu întreaga familie de pudibonzi. Victorianismul redefinit. Da, mi-e greu s-o exclud pe Jane Austen din perioada victoriană.