Musings of a Reader: The Enduring Appeal of Pride and Prejudice

I owe Pride and Prejudice a lot. It was the book that introduced me to Literature, the kind with a capital L. I was thirteen and until then had mostly subsisted on children’s fiction – Roald Dahl and the Sweet Valley series, The Babysitter’s Club series and everything by Enid Blyton. These endless series of stories about children and their varying adventures were peppered with abridged versions of the classics too, so I had had my introduction to Shakespeare and Dickens and Mark Twain with the kind of little books that strip these great works to the bare skeletons of plot. But I hadn’t ever read an actual piece of Literature. Then I saw the film Pride and Prejudice that had just been released (the 2005 one) and I promptly fell in love.

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Musings of a Reader: The Wonderful World of YA Fiction

Honestly, I thought this column would be a breeze to write. Like I mentioned the last time, talking about books is one of my top favorite things to do. But it’s turning out to be surprisingly difficult. See, when reading books is such an integral part of your existence, it’s hard to know where to start or what books to talk about. Should I start at the beginning, from the books my mom would read to me before I could read myself? The Dr Seuss books, with cats in hats and the fox wearing socks, and Ibn-e-Insha’s Billo Ka Basta poems which I memorized and would recite to my parents during long car rides? Or is it better to talk about the books I read more recently, the works of writers like Italo Calvino and Julian Barnes, which make me marvel at the mind-blowing narrative techniques or clever turns of phrases? In the end, I have decided to talk about some books which I personally really love and which offer some great writing and wonderful stories, but often don’t get talked about or worse, get dismissed entirely. I’m referring to young adult or YA fiction.

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Musings of a Reader: The Beginning

Talking about books is one of my top favourite things to do. It’s right up there with eating French fries and, you know, actually reading the books I love talking about. This was why I refused to study literature as an academic subject for a long time. “You mean you get to discuss books at length? And you get graded for it? That seems too much fun to be real. There must be a catch.”  Thankfully I got over it, and was ecstatic to discover, in one of my first literature classes, that I could gush about the many qualities of Mr Darcy and it would count as my assignment. The joy! The point being, talking about literature, to me is just plain fun.

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Pride and Prejudice: Austen’s Views on Love and Marriage

In the 200 years since its publication, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice has spawned a plethora of sequels, prequels and adaptations, the most recent of them being a popular YouTube series. There can be several reasons for the enduring appeal of Pride and Prejudice – the handsome and rich Darcy, the witty banter the two protagonists engage in, the fairy tale-like happy ending. But an important reason why modern readers continue to relate to the novel may be Austen’s views on love and marriage which are reflected in it, views which are surprisingly aligned with progressive, modern-day sensibilities.

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