The Joys of Being a Jane Austen Bro

“I’m sorry,” the woman said, pulling the cap off her forehead and gawking at me. I almost expect her to continue this examination through a theater. “It’s just a little bit like encountering an endangered species.”

I looked down at my suit: shiny black shoes with shiny brass buckles, a pair of tights that felt as restrained as they seemed, and a waistcoat and tie underneath the coat of a hard-shouldered gentleman of the Regent period.

“You mean it’s weird to see men dressed as members of the Austen family?”

“I mean it’s strange to see men at an Austen conference, Stage. “

Not every artist gets the cult they deserve, but Jane Austen certainly did. Today, an avid Austen lover — or “Janeite,” as insiders say — can spend most of their waking hours flying from one Austen symposium to one. other by Austen. Between regular conventions in the Americas and regular international conventions in Mumbai and Tokyo, etc., one could essentially live in a Jane Austen fantasy camp all year round, as long as one had cash. . I visited half a dozen while researching a book about the novelist’s biggest fans, and often managed to fit in using the appropriate wardrobe.

Of course, I’m stuck like a penguin in the tropics. Because at all of these conferences, there is always a glaring shortage: men.

There are many male outsiders who scorn this as a natural state of affairs: Austen is for the birds, they say with a passionate smile, an undeniably lively but overly concerned author. little questions about how to be a Great novelists like moody 19th-century Russians. It’s completely understandable, they say, that she’s loved by people who like their romantic comedies with a hint of classics or history — that is to say, mostly women.

New Netflix adaptation of Convince, the last of Austen’s so-called grown-up six novels, became the headline for the mockery and mischief that the different quarter of the Janeite universe greeted the trailer. It was a betrayal, many say, that turned the novelist’s most complex and melancholy work into a suspenseful sitcom. However, the film’s outcry also gives us a chance to realize an age-old truth: Being an Austen Brother is a joy that has many unspeakable benefits both literary and cultural. morality.

I don’t always know how to respond to overnight male readers who see Austen as a peddler dreaming of marriage, except to say that if Austen were not a great novelist, then no one – and she might even suggest than joy and wisdom for her male readers more than any other. Furthermore, a young man need not attend an Austen convention, much less put on a pair of tights, if he is to enjoy and benefit from the novelist’s tireless moral vision. Today, as in 1815 or 1924, there is still a special, if sometimes complicated, pleasure in being an Austen brother, and the men who elude the author are robbing a communion with a writer, who, more than any other novelist of her time, was arrested. The momentary but important elements of sociability inevitably lead to the rise or fall of a given community.

https://www.gq.com/story/the-joys-of-being-an-austen-bro The Joys of Being a Jane Austen Bro

Russell Falcon

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