By F. R. Leavis
Quantity 2 of a variety from Scrutiny opens with Mrs Leavis's a lot quoted experiences, which jointly shape 'A serious idea of Jane Austen's Writings'. There follows a piece of stories of novelists (Dorothy Richardson, Gissing, Hemingway, Virginia Woolf, Henry James), and Mrs Leavis's examine of Edith Wharton. Then there are 3 of James Smith's essays: the distinguished 'Preliminary Survey' of Wordsworth; the both celebrated 'On Metaphysical Poetry' and the learn of As you're keen on It. a bit on 'The English culture' reprints experiences of Jefferies, Beatrice Webb, Sturt and Piers Plowman.
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Additional info for A Selection from Scrutiny: Volume 2
We have been manoeuvred round from Marianne's original viewpoint to that which makes Marianne's solemn repentance after her illness called for. Mrs Jennings is indelicate in speech, and inelegant in manners, and unrefined in spirit, but from the time of the crisis (Marianne's finding herself deceived in Willoughby) Jane Austen contrives that the absence in Mrs Jennings of the qualities she valued most is seen to be offset by the presence of qualities that must, if only in theory, have been at least as much recommendation to her even when unsupported by elegance and distinction—an unfailingly good heart, a well-judging mind, a shrewd grasp of the essentials of character.
Harriet fancying herself in love (but twice over) was taken in some detail from Fanny's account of her own mistaken affair, down to stimulating her imaginary feelings. See Letters, Nov. —Such a circumstance ought to be in print. ' It was not lost. It appeared in print as Harriet's piece of court-plaster and pencil-stub. Emma's fancying herself in love with Frank Churchill and then him with herself is also adapted from Fanny's confidences. That the dilemma, the heart-searchings and the self-deception should be divided in the novel between two characters is Jane Austen's characteristic process of making life fit for art.
For instance, Sir Thomas and Mary Crawford are both worldly, but whereas Mary lacks principles Sir Thomas abounds in them, so he is shown to be a good (if erring) man in spite of his worldliness, whereas she is reprehensible in spite of her attractive qualities. ). The clear-cut good-or-bad distinction on which the characters of the immature early story are divided is such a crude reduction of life that even there the author cannot take it seriously (hence the fun poked at the Vernons, all the brains allotted to the bad side and diffused scorn directed at the good people).
A Selection from Scrutiny: Volume 2 by F. R. Leavis