In the final talk of the 2020-2021 Old Dominion Series, Susan J. Wolfson (English) gives a talk on “Pride and Prejudice: not altogether ‘light & bright & sparkling’.”
Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice has seemed, for generations, her most unified, satisfying and delightful romance. That’s the plotwork, anyway, for two of the five Bennet sisters, with the marriage market seconds or remainders subject to comedy, satire, marginalization, or erasure. Beyond these ghosts of romance, its textual field leaves a lot of litter—clutters of cultural information, stated, subordinated, implied, or indicated on slants, that disrupts its literary shaping with markers of the unorganized material world across which its plot unfolds. My talk is about the Austenian investment in this litter on the literary surface, in six scenes of loose ends and dispersed data that resist tying up into fictional or social coherence. These complications, and their pressures of contradiction extend not least, to one near double to Austen herself.
Registration required: https://princeton.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJcuc-2rrDkpHt13hvMnPzW_Ofqp24Etiroh