Saturday, September 09, 2017
Arts Journal - Words
That’s the theory, based on what we see with languages such as english, which seem to slim down over centuries. John McWhorter says that simply isn’t true.
William Deresiewicz, who began his career as an Austen scholar, has spent his adult life dealing with people’s surprise (if not more) at his choice of specialty. ” Men, in particular, would get this look in their eyes, as if to say, ‘What’s wrong with you, dude?'”, while women often seemed to act as if he was intruding into a domain that was theirs (in a way that, say, George Eliot or Virginia Woolf or the Brontës are not). Here Deresiewicz what it is about Austen that would make women feel so possessive, what makes an Austen hero sexy, and how her novels taught him “how to be a better man.”
Junot Diaz, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Gary Shteyngart, Madeleine Albright, David Henry Hwang, and others share their (very succinct) stories.