I’m pleased to report that I am on schedule with my Persuasion read for this month. That means I’ve just finished Volume 1 and will begin Volume 2 today. You can find my weekly reading schedule near the bottom of this post.
I’m less pleased to report that, this time around, I’m really not enjoying Persuasion. In fact, I’m a little bored. What’s happening!? Have I lost my love for Austen!?
No, nothing that dramatic.
I think it’s a combination of two things: first, perhaps not being in the right mindset for Austen right now; and second, this was never my favorite Austen (in fact, it might be my least favorite, with Emma coming in close. Or perhaps those two positions reversed, depending on the day and my mood.) I know this one is many peoples’ favorite, so I’m sorry not to like this one more, but it is what it is!
I’m also a little irritated with the writing this time. The commas and semicolons and never-ending sentences. I swore off Henry James late last year because of this style, and here I am encountering it again. Oh, help me!
Anyway, the first volume has been devoted primarily to introducing the characters and to building the tension between Anne and Captain Wentworth. Near the end of this volume, the reader also sees some progress in melting the chilliness between those two, with the help of accidental interventions from minor characters (Anne’s nephew and the Misses Musgroves.)
I have to say, I found the drama at the end of Volume 2 a little bit silly this time. Perhaps I misunderstood what happened (and I’ve never seen the movie, so I don’t know if the visual would clarify), but a goofy young woman, flirting with the Captain, jumps to her near-death?
The melodrama, y’all!
Oh well, I shall carry on and hope that Volume 2 catches my attention and imagination a bit better. The last time I read this one, I did enjoy it and finished it with great appreciation. Let’s see if I’m a completely different reader this time around.
Are you reading Persuasion? Something else? How goes it?
Apropos of writing this post: I’ve been having a terrible time with the new WordPress editor for blog posts. It’s horrendously difficult to use. Images have been a problem (hence why you don’t see one in the post above; I tried multiple times and finally gave up) as is text editing, as the new system wants to “block” (separate) every single paragraph. I now type everything in MS Word and copy it all over so it will fit into a single “block,” but then if I try to change anything, it causes problems for the rest of the post. Simply put: I might soon be done with blogging and/or considering a move to some other platform. Que sera, sera.
The struggle is real with blogging platforms. I just moved to Square Space. It resolves most of my issues except for the simple one that I don’t like it. But I can change styles when I’ve got some time to tinker and I may like it better. I’ve never read much Austen. I know, I’ll fix it.
I’ve read all of Austen, most of it many times. But I’m apparently not in the mood for her right now. I’ll look into Square Space! I was also thinking about Wix.
Persuasion was never one of my favourites either. I do like what Austen tried to do with it but I never could invest in any of the characters. And I tried so hard. Here’s my review: https://classicalcarousel.com/persuasion-by-jane-austen/
I do not like the block editor at all. It’s specialized for certain types of blogs but it doesn’t work well with book blogs. There is a function where you can switch to the classic editor and work in that. However I’ve yet to download the latest version of WordPress so I hope they didn’t get rid of it. But if all else fails, I believe there’s a plug-in that will allow you to work in the good, old classic editor. Good luck!!
Yeah, the plug in requires a business account. $$ They showed me how to use classic editor for *pages* but the classic editor option for blog posts is gone.
I have not reread Persuasion for years but you are tempting me.
Re WordPress, in the last few months, I have had problems commenting on WordPress. I even tried creating an account but that didn’t help. I like Wix, which I had to use for several grad school assignments but the idea of switching from Blogger is exhausting to contemplate.
I originally used Blogger but migrated to WordPress about ten years ago. That wasn’t too bad, but the idea of starting over or migrating again is not a happy one.
The mood is definitely the thing. I had intended to read this, but my mood has taken me off in loads of other directions. As for the blocks, I tend to avoid them by using an old link to get into the old-style editor. But when I used blocks for a while, I used the classic block and treated it as much as possible like classic editor and it was ok… Good luck!
I haven’t read Persuasion yet but I do think you (or us, me, we) have to be in the mood, hopefully it will get better. I’m much more concerned about your problem with blocks! Please don’t stop blogging – I almost (did) cry when mine all changed but I’ve got used to it and now (possibly) prefer it. I used the kind person on the wordpress helpline thing and they pointed me to a short film on how to use it which was invaluable. Honestly Adam, I’ve even used ‘mosaic’ once so confident was I!
I’ve just read my comment through and realise how garbled it is – sorry! My daughter told me to just treat every paragraph (block) as a separate entity, and it made sense
Persuasion is my fav Austen, but I understand how mood can affect everything. P&P used to be my favourite but I turned to it, a decade or so back when in need of comfort, when my dad was having major heart surgery, & Elizabeth’s pert humour simply DID NOT WORK.
I’m reading Northanger Abbey and really enjoying the annotations that come with my edition, although still working out the best way to read a book with annotations – do you read every number as it comes up, read the page through then read it’s notes, or read a whole chapter to get a good flow and then go back and read all the relevant notes?
As for WP and blocks. I only moved to WP 8 months ago. I had used it previously whilst editing other blogs, but I didn’t really know the classic mode well. So when I came across, I decided to simply embrace the block. And now, if I need to go in and edit/update one of my old posts or pages, I find the classic mode so old-fashioned and clunky I can’t stand it and convert the post/page to block straight away! But it did take some time and experimentation and some soul-searching days when I wondered if I should have stayed on Blogger.
Karen @BookerTalk has been doing some ongoing posts on how to use Block Editor that I found very helpful starting here – https://bookertalk.com/wordpress-retires-classic-editor/
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Ooh thanks for the link! Northanger Abbey is my personal favorite, though I think P&P is her best, while Mansfield Park is her most important. I really am a big fan (of course) but this one wasn’t my favorite to begin with and the style is jarring on me right now. I need to read Austen (like Melville and Faulkner and some others) when I can be more relaxed and focues.
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I also hate the block editor, so what I did was I took old posts made in the previous editor, and copied them as drafts. (On your list of posts, there are three dots on the right side of the listing. One of them is “copy post” so you do that.) Then I make that copied post into a template, which, when I want to make a new post, I copy it from my drafts! Bingo – regular editor!
Thanks, I’ll try that! But… I’m still angry the option is gone. We shouldn’t all have to do these kooky workarounds! (Or spend $$$).
I hate the new format in WordPress! I figured out how to switch to Classic Editor, but it’s still a headache. I’m enjoying Persuasion after being away from it for the past few years. I’m also reading Austen Years, a fairly interesting memoir of a writer using Austen’s works to cope with the loss of her father. I’ll post a link for these reviews once they are completed.
I endlessly speculate regarding how Austen might have edited Persuasion further had she had the opportunity. We know she fiddled with the ending, but was she overall satisfied with it? Would she have altered the Louisa Musgrove jump, for example? Did Henry fiddle with it while he was publishing it after his sister’s death? There are many things I do love about Persuasion, but it doesn’t have the polish that P&P or Emma or Mansfield Park has.
Finished my two Austen posts for ‘Persuasion’ and ‘Austen Years.’ They can be found at https://iwouldratherbereadingblog.wordpress.com/2021/09/12/jane-austen-more-than-a-writer-of-silly-romances/ andhttps://iwouldratherbereadingblog.wordpress.com/2021/08/25/finding-solace-in-jane-austen/
Thanks Adam for hosting this again!!!