One of the things I promised myself on hearing I was "going blind" at age 25 was to read as many of the classics of English Literature as I could before I died.
I have no where NEAR accomplished even a 10th of this promise... even though I can proudly claim to have read both the Iliad and Homer's Odyssey! (Please don't ask me to tell you the plot, I got completely lost in the first chapter of both books! Too many gods, too many ships and too many silly men!)
I have never actually read any Jane Austin books in full. I have always been a little cynical of romantic literature despite a passion for M.M. Kaye and H.R. Haggard and P.C. Wren (ahhh Beau Geste! What a tale that is! *purrs with pleasant memories*).
I have seen quite a few movie adaptations of Janes work though and have thoroughly enjoyed them all.
There is a new modern variation on the JA theme coming to the cinema's at the end of the month. I hope to catch it either at the cinema or on DVD. I am positive I will enjoy it very much.
The website for the movie has this intriguing introduction.
Jane Austen is famous for her spirited and independent characters. Today's world may be far removed from Regency England, but we're still as preoccupied with the complexities of marriage, friendship, flirtations and social manners and mores as Jane Austen's characters were at the turn of the century. Take The Jane Austen Book Club quiz and learn which character from the film is most like you.
We are exactly that! Preoccupied with the complexities of all relationships both First Life and Second Life! It's our inherent nature to strive for that constancy of Love in our lives.
It strikes me though, that most of our striving is about "us", our SELF: the ego-centric capacity for reciprocated love returned. Maybe this is a cynical belief about the narcissistic nature of most people. We are, of course, quite capable of empathizing with and sustaining relationships based on altruistic love for the other but I believe these kinds of relationships are rare and of course extremely precious.
Most day to day relationships are more about me-It where the "you" in that equation is more an object rather than You. This means that what I gain from you as a person is an objective sense of reward of some kind be it emotional, physical or material. I am in it for whatever gains I might find appealing to my sense of worth. Some of us don't progress very far from our baby-hood in our innate belief that the Universe revolves entirely around our Self!
Our sense of survival runs so deep within that our complex emotional and social makeup, physiologically as well as spiritually demands we do the best we can to "get along" with people to the best of our ability in order that we too get the pay off that that may bring! That we CAN empathize with others is a remarkable gift of human evolution and/or Divine Creation! We can intuit and scan the emotional inner horizons of others and relate to their way and state of being and loop into that mindset, reciprocating those same emotions and joining with them in an empathetic dance of mutual understanding beyond mere physical survival. We can only ever hope to have that same level of attention paid to ourselves by others.
Love IS a kind of essential food group! It is rare for a person to eschew genuine love. We are nourished and sustained not so much by the food we eat as the love we share. The operative word being "Share" here. We give what we get and we get what we give! Sometimes we must give it forward and sometimes we can give it back. It's not a two-way thing is Love - it's a viral thing, spreading OUTWARDS beyond the initial conduit of its development.
Long ago, Ms Austin appears to have instinctively and intuitively understood the inner drive of human beings so well, she documented them in stories that have become modern Aesop's Fables of sorts. These stories still to this day, fully resonate with the common traits of all human beings across centuries. Its not about what we DO - its how we go about doing it that counts.