Sunday, 21 February 2016

The School of Life: Jane Austen and Lev Tolstoy

Too much about ethics, message, moral purpose and effect, too little about art- what about form and style? what about innovation? what about their genius? what about their contribution to the art of fiction, and influence on later writers? We don't come to Jane Austen purely for her teachings, and if Tolstoy hadn't been such a great storyteller and scene-setter and psychologist, nobody would put up with his long, repetitive digressions about the meaning of life and love and happiness, or about determinism and the 1 great man theory. 
But then this is The School of Life. The 1st video is nice- people often attach the word "romance" and therefore "sentimental" and "light" and "unrealistic" to Jane Austen, and don't realise how serious she was as an author. It's a good reminder. 


  1. Di,

    Fascinating. Very unpopular ways of looking at these great works.

    1. I think the Marcel Proust video is "better". Made me want to read Proust too.