The last time I told that to a guy he got super judgey with me about it but then his favorite turned out to be the novelization of a video game (Halo I think). A good match we were not.
I was at a lecture awhile back where the professor talked about how Jane Austen is one of the few literary authors that is still read for pleasure and how that hurts her in a lot of literary circles. He taught a Jane Austen course at a university and other professors would make fun of his class to their students because they were teaching “real literature” while he was teaching “chick lit”. He also talked about her upswing in popularity in the mid to late 90′s and how there has been a subsequent backlash where people are less willing to claim that they like her. And it was only when he said that that I realized I had done similar to myself. I love Jane Austen but I have been less proud to admit that in recent years.
Perhaps I wanted my favorite book to be something less cliche and well-known and “girly”? I mean I love The Things They Carried or Catch-22 or Ender’s Game for their portrayal of military life that has resonated with me on a deeper level throughout the years. I adore Ray Bradbury’s The Illustrated Man or Isaac Asimov’s Azazel both are full of these amazing, thought-provoking, short stories that have continued to impact me decades after I read them. Great Expectations will always be dear to my heart for the things it taught me about self-acceptance, the nature of wealth, and the importance of true relationships (all things I don’t always see when I try to reread it). Lord of the Rings, Captain’s Courageous, Dune, The Alchemist, Jane Eyre, Count of Monte Cristo, are all great books that I could call my favorite that would make me sound “cooler” I guess? But they aren’t my favorite.
Pride and Prejudice is a novel I keep coming back to every couple of years. I check in with the characters and with myself. When I first read it I remember being as shocked as Elizabeth at Darcy’s proposal and Wickham’s perfidy and I rolled around in the angst of the unrequited feelings and the misunderstandings. This was a love story for the ages! But then I came to it again in college and found myself nodding along to Charlotte Lucas and reveling in the examination of matrimony as a strategic life choice and the theme of equal and unequal marriage. And what exactly changed Elizabeth’s feelings anyway? I have, at various times, hated, loved and felt indifferent toward Lydia. My concept of Darcy has evolved as my concept of myself and my own introversion has become clearer. In short every time I read Pride and Prejudice I not only enjoy the story but somehow find an entirely new angle from which to enjoy it. And it’s that continued presence and importance in my life that makes it my favorite.
All of my creature comforts are back from their long voyage across the ocean so naturally the first thing I did was reread Pride and Prejudice while eating breakfast and taking a bubble bath. You know, just to get it all out of my system at once.
idk who u are or where i am. if you diss pride and prejudice im comin for ur ungrateful ass. we could be standing at the alter abt to say ‘i do’ and if you say ‘ugh i hate pride and prejudice’ id fcking leave you. id walk out of my own wedding. i could be under anesthesia about to have major surgery and hear my doctor say ‘i never liked austen novels’ and id wake up just to request a different doctor. u could be the president of the united states and say ‘they’re just love stories’ and id deck you right there, right in front of secret service. im waiting and im ready to fight