7/10/09

Wise Women Friday: Jane Austen

1869 engraving showing an idealized, young :en...Image via Wikipedia

Words of wisdom from the English writer Jane Austen (1775-1817)

"Is not general incivility
the very essence of love?"

Could it be any more obvious: Jane Austen had siblings. Who more than siblings make general incivility not only a component of love but a dominant trait?

For her part, Austen must have been an expert at what we, in our happy home, call "too much love," which roughly translates into spending so much time together that one can't help but show affection by name calling, minor shoving, and purposeful irritation. Austen had seven siblings: one sister and six brothers (although a few of the brothers did not survive to adulthood). A writer of astute observation and perception, she must have been a very dangerous sister. She no doubt knew at a glance what seemingly innocuous turn of phrase, strange look or obnoxious sound would send the other little Austens over the edge, and she could probably tell without even thinking about it what one thing she could do that would turn one of her many brothers into a whining, crying ball of distressed energy.

Interestingly, my two children also possess these enviable gifts. They practice using them on one another all the time. Practically endlessly. And as their general incivility proves, they are just so full of LOVE for each other. They are just so full of LOVE for everyone. Naturally, I'm very proud and I have high hopes for their futures, as long as they end up living on different continents.
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35 comments:

Desiree said...

Very, very funny. As usual.
And I suppose Aphrodite would bear you out.

Lynne said...

It would be much easier for them to stick together if they had an older sister who tried to kill them by giving them charcoal lighter fluid and telling them it is Kool-Aid, or locking them outside in the cold night. But there are only two of them, so there is not much you can do but by ear plugs or lock them outside yourself! Just wondering, is Elizabeth named after Elizabeth Bennet?

Margaret said...

Lynne: Jane was actually very devoted to her sister Cassandra. Perhaps a girls versus boys thing. My Elizabeth is not named after Miss Bennet, although she would like to think so.

Gerri said...

Just found your blog. Absolutely love it! So humerous and insightful. Can't wait to read more.

Lamar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lamar said...

This is a call to everyone to please step outside the right vs. left paradigm. While there are important issues worth debating within this paradigm, all of them will be moot if we do not focus on a much greater issue outside this paradigm. Thomas Jefferson warned of wealth concentrating to such an extent that it threatened the state. Nowadays the media has taught us all very well to ridicule anyone who talks of central banks usurping the power of government. Well now I suppose the media will have to laugh at themselves, as many outlets from Newsweek to the Financial Times of London are openly discussing the creation of a "bank of the world" that will control economic policies of every nation. I invite you to watch this video, which details how this is currently taking place. While it focuses on our current officials' cooperation with these plans, it steps out of the typical political paradigm by highlighting the cooperation of both parties. Please do not look to politicians to protect us. Only we can protect us. And our first step must be to reach out to police and military. Without their cooperation, the global elite won't have the muscle to exercise their will of oppression. Please share this oath-keepers blog with them.

altadenahiker said...

Had an earful Marg? (They're really going to enjoy these essays when they get older.)

Cafe Pasadena said...

I love all these wise gals from the past.

And, that Lynne - give her a platform! Or at least a Blog. Sounds like she is just full of truths!

Jean Spitzer said...

I love this; so funny. (I also love Jane Austen, but not because she may have tormented her sibs.)

Margaret said...

Gerri: Thanks so much. Glad you came by to visit.

AH: I'm not expecting a rush on my collected blog works. They'll never know...

Pup: Yes, Lynne is very smart and sassy. She needs a blog!

Jean: I love Jane Austen too.

Petrea said...

While other families may love each other in much the same way, so many of them do not have a mother who so wittily describes their love-fests.

Joanne walked barefoot on the milky way said...

This reminds me of me and my brothers when we were younger. We would drive each other crazy!

I wonder how parents can handle that much love? :)

Shell Sherree said...

Oh, oops - my sister and I went through 'a phase' of showing the essence of our love through the extremes of general incivility, including throwing vacuum cleaner parts and a small chair at each other. We grew out of it {well before we ran out of household appliances}.

moonstruck daisy said...

I really love Jane Austen!!!! Funny post! This is a nice blog!

Christina Trejo ~ The Tupperware Lady said...

lol I have just found your blog & I love it! I never would have thought to apply that quote to siblings though after thinking about it... I doubt you could find a better situation that it could fit!

I myself have 3 boys and OH MY do they love each other so! So much that I am at times beyond my wits lol...

Thanks for helping me to put it back into perspective that one day.. maybe my children will be able to be civil lol

Joanne said...

Great thoughts here, enjoyed reading this! Might your children possess Austen's writing abilities too?

Sabbador said...

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Vægttab, vægt, motion, kost

pasadenaadjacent said...

Lynne.. I gave my brother rubbing alcohol to get him drunk (or kill him; I'm not sure which). A little something I picked up from a story line on one of my mother's soaps

Margaret: ok, I didn't know you had two children

magnoliaamber said...

I am a great fan of Austen!
Thank you for picking her as Wise Women!

Lynne said...

Pasadena Adjacent - Margaret's and my older sister actually did give me a glass of charcoal lighter fluid when I was two and told me it was Kool-Aid. It almost killed my and our dog! Of course it is easy to see why I preferred my younger sister.

As for the blog, I think I'll leave the writing to Margaret. I like reading what she has to say the best!

Margaret said...

Petrea: I'm laughing on the outside, crying on the inside.

Joanne: Glad things have improved for you and your brothers.

Shell: Your poor appliances. Too funny.

Other Joanne: My children like to write...

Moonstruck D: Thanks.

Christina: Thanks for dropping by. Too much love can definitely be dangerous. Good luck with your boys.

PA: Oh my. Your poor brother. Too much Dark Shadows for you. Remember that one?

Magnoliaamber: It is so hard not to like Austen. Her writing is fabulous.

Lynne: The blogosphere will always be here if you change your mind.

pasadenapio said...

A few months ago I cracked open my old volumes of "Sense and Sensibility" and "Pride and Prejudice" that had been sitting on the shelf for decades since I opened them last.

What a treat!

Natasha Call said...

Wow! What great posts! I will stay and read a while. Just getting uplifted for my daily affirmations by scooting around the net. Thanks for the amazing read! Inspired Lemonade.com

YEDİTEPE TEMİZLİK HİZMETLERİ said...

Very nice, super blog!..

HALIYIKAMATİK said...

Thanks, beautiful webpage.

gaelikaa said...

I always tell my kids that anyone can be nice to outsiders but to be civil to the people you live with is far more praiseworthy. I just cannot stand how siblings can be so kind to their friends yet treat each other so contemptuously. My kids do it all the time and it freaks me out. I saw a fair bit of that in my family of origin too.

kanmuri said...

My sister and I can't stay together for very long; if we do, the incivilities start. I now live in Japan and she in South Korea: we get along well now :D

Georgie K. Buttons said...

My youngest sister exactly. And I cannot stand her most of the time. Quoting Fred from Youtube, "She's such a buhrat!" :)

Mahta said...

may you snd your ferinds help me ? I am learning english and I have this weblog and I write it, please read it.
thnx very much

The Karen Chronicles said...

love your blog - i'm so glad i discovered it on 'blogs of note'!

Admin said...

What is the last book from Jane?

Margaret said...

PPIO: I have a volume of collected Austen novels that I got for $5 at a book sale. I pull it out whenever I feel a little blue.

Natasha, Yeditempe, Hali: thanks.

Gaelikea: I say that too. It's easy to be nice to your friends. How do you treat the people who aren't your friends? Thanks the question.

Kanmuri: I think that would work for my kids.

Karen: Thanks.

Admin: I wish I could tell you. I am devoted to Miss Austen, but this time I found my quote in a book of quotes. Now the dirty secret is out. But thanks for dropping by.

armyblond said...

It is true with all siblings I suppose. Exact same way with mine I would say ... LOVE them although I hate them ...

Des said...

Jane Austen is really fantastic. Excellent post.

J&D said...



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