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message 1: by Brenda (new)

Brenda Clough (brendaclough) | 301 comments I am posting this here because I am certain the OP won't ever see it here. In an Internet galaxy far away, we were discussing word choice and voice. The OP alleged that Jane Austen uses too many long words and is too difficult to read. Also her prose has no distinctive voice.
(Also no explosions, CGI or sex! I yell, sarcastically.)
It was depressing.

message 2: by Gary (last edited Aug 20, 2015 01:46PM) (new)

Gary | 1471 comments That's what happens when folks are reading beyond their grade level....

Admittedly, Austen's stream-of-consciousness narrative style can sometimes be distracting or confusing. In fact, I've given this assignment to students in English Writing/Composition classes:
Below is a paragraph from a classic English novel Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen. Since Austen’s time, most English speakers and writers prefer shorter, more concise sentences. The passage below contains only two periods, and the first is followed by a conjunction to begin the next sentence! (That’s 154 words!) Rewrite the passage, breaking the clauses up into individual sentences to make reading it clearer and more comprehensible.

Supported by the conviction of having done nothing to merit her present unhappiness, and consoled by the belief that Edward had done nothing to forfeit her esteem, she thought she could even now, under the first smart of the heavy blow, command herself enough to guard every suspicion of the truth from her mother and sisters. And so well was she able to answer her own expectations, that when she joined them at dinner only two hours after she had first suffered the extinction of all her dearest hopes, no one would have supposed from the appearance of the sisters, that Elinor was mourning in secret over obstacles which must divide her for ever from the object of her love, and that Marianne was internally dwelling on the perfections of a man, of whose whole heart she felt thoroughly possessed, and whom she expected to see in every carriage which drove near their house.
However, that assignment is really about how one should compose an essay about someone like Jane Austen, not a critique of Austen's technique.

Austen's voice is, of course, more distinct than simply big words. However, how that OP managed to argue that she has BOTH no distinctive voice AND uses too many long words, I don't know.... That seems like contradictory. Using "big words" would seem to me to be at least some sort of "voice" even if only the most obvious one.

message 3: by Brenda (new)

Brenda Clough (brendaclough) | 301 comments He was a young reader, for sure.

message 4: by Bryn (new)

Bryn Hammond (brynhammond) A graceful passage from Austen, nevertheless. It reads with musicality. Yep I have a predilection for the old styles.

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