Who Wants to Talk about Mansfield Park?

August is a strange month, especially in Omaha where the kids go back to school so damn early. It's only the 8th and already summer is basically over, the good part anyway, the lazy, wonderful part.  I excel at laziness, which my husband would be happy to tell you. He's been doing projects since he got home from work and now he's mowing the lawn. I, on the other hand, have been thinking about blogging, thinking about walking the dog, neither of which are anywhere close to actually being done. My default setting is "off" which is probably the main reason I try to keep so many projects going. This week I haven't had a lot to do. My classes have been workshopping, so while the actual class hours have been intense, there hasn't been much prepping or grading.  As for the press, we're just waiting for a proof copy of The Royal Nonesuch, so it's been a slow work week there as well.

This might seem like a perfect week for writing, but I have deliberately stepped away, mostly because the latest project has a tendency to hold me underwater, and we need a break. Over-writing, over-revising. These things are not your friend. Right now, I'm not even allowed to open the file.

Technically, I should force myself to work on submitting. The witch manuscript is done really, but it needs a better acknowledgements page. I should really be working on that. Instead, though, I took the week to read all the (major) novels of Jane Austen. This seemed like a good use of my time. I've read them all, of course, most of them many times, but never back to back to back, and it was pretty intense--good, but intense, especially at the pace of basically a novel a day. (I might have stayed up until 2 or 3 once or twice, and this may have pissed my husband off a lot, in that I kept waking him up. Honestly, though, we've been married a long time, so he's got to be used to this shit.)

Spending an entire week with Austen though is a lot to process. It's really interesting actually to see how little things have changed when it comes to gender ideals, power dynamics, issues of status and dependency. We talk about things differently, of course, but a lot of the shit is still there. I mean, if we want to have a discussion about rape culture (and who doesn't?) we can absolutely start with Mansfield Park. I'm serious. Let's totally talk about Mansfield Park. Who's in?