Shame, humiliation, disgrace: hard feelings to accept if you've been brought up to believe that you should never have to experience any pain. ... No suffering, no growth—and no recollection, no suffering. We have to see what we've done, we have to feel it, and finally, we have to remember it. ...
How tempting it is to rewrite our personal history in a more flattering way, and how familiar we all are with the person who experiences a moment of self-knowledge—after a breakup or a failure or a sin—only to go right back to being the same person they always were. For Austen, maturation means refusing to forget. Humiliation, for her, is a gift that keeps on giving.
I wrote about the book more in a review for BlogHer (no spoilers):
In A Jane Austen Education, William Deresiewicz chronicles many years’ worth of mining Austen’s works as well as distilling what he found into distinct categories: everyday matters, growing up, learning to learn, being good, true friends, and falling in love. He very aptly adapted the lessons from her novels—which could be denigrated to “quaint” or relegated to the beautifully (if not twitterpatedly) cinematic (Colin Firth and Matthew Macfadyen, be still my heart!)—to make sense, actually startlingly practical sense, in today’s social constructs.
So tell me, any books cut you to the core lately?