Up to this point, this entire blog has been written from the perspective of a Fangirl. Simply because, I am a girl.
However, it is not just girls who appreciate Jane Austen. And so I interviewed my friend Sterling, to get the perspective of a Jane Austen Fan Man (for Sterling’s dignity I chose not to use the term fanboy).
The Fan Man’s Guide to Jane Austen
What was your first experience with Jane Austen?
I’m usually one of those people that won’t watch a movie till I’ve read a book and will break your TV if you try to watch the movie first. But let’s be honest, when you’re a young teenage boy, you don’t really care about Jane Austen or reading her books. So my first experience with Jane was when my sister and mother forced me to watch the A&E Pride and Prejudice. It’s only 327 minutes. 5 ½ hours. NBD.
I pretty much decided that I needed to re-man myself after that. Gods and Generals and Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace (don’t judge me. I was like 9 when it came out. #nowthisispodracing) were binge watched in quick succession. But give it a few years, and, without giving up the manly façade, I quietly picked up P&P as a book and pretty much knocked that baby out in like 6 hours.
Which of her novels have you read?
All of them except Emma. I’ve tried three times and never finished. My life is a failure. I also haven’t read her letters, but I don’t feel like such a failure for that.
Which of her novels is your favorite and why?
Psh. Pride and Prejudice. I’ve only read it like four times. I love it because, let’s be honest here, Elizabeth is pretty much my dream girl, which is to say witty, judging, exercise brightened eyes, not generally swayed by public opinion, introverted (like me), somewhat naively (but I would say correctly) cynical about life, smarter than me, a rather low view of human nature, etc. Although realistically she would probably drive me crazy. Thankfully my wife has some of these same characteristics coupled with abounding patience, so she’s basically the best.
I also like to think of myself as a pseudo-Darcy without all the money and land and impeccable manners and such. And we don’t even have close to the same Myers Briggs. But plenty of the cynicism. And we’re both analytical, and I verbally process, which he does a little bit. So basically we’re not the same person, but I wish I was him at times.
Oh yeah. It’s a great story. But really, I connect with the characters.
Why do you like Jane Austen?
I like Jane Austen because she has strong female characters who can stand on their own, but also strong and (mostly) virtuous male characters who are willing to go to any lengths to protect and provide for, and win the women they love. Or just women in general. Something I aspire to. (I’m not sexist. I know you can take care of yourself. But it’s really a privilege to be able to help out sometimes.)
Which Jane Austen character is your favorite/can you relate to the most/are most inspired by?
I think I answered that above. I’m also super inspire by Mr. Collins. Inspired to never be know-it-all, obsequious ass. The man couldn’t take a hint if it was handed to him with easy to read directions.
Which movie adaptation is your favorite and why?
A&E Pride and Prejudice. It’s 327 minutes of almost direct quotes. I mean it’s almost as close as you can get to reading the book aloud and acting it out at the same time.
Is there any movie adaptation that you hate or dislike and why?
Honestly, I am not as fully up to date on my Jane Austen movies as I would like. The books are just so much more interesting to me. Plus Gilmore Girls is on Netflix now, and I still have 6 seasons to get through.
What’s your favorite Jane Austen quote?
After a silence of several minutes, he came towards her in an agitated manner, and thus began,
‘In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.’
Lol. Awkward. Maybe not my favorite but quite wonderful.
Jane Austen is beloved by both male and female, but have you noticed any trends like maybe guys like it for different reasons or any thing like that?
Honestly guys tend to not talk about this.
Why should guys (or anyone) read Jane Austen?
First, at least in my experience, Jane Austen provides a rather unique insight into the female mind. At least according to her, it’s twisty and generally not linear and emotional and will take most of the things you say in the wrong way. I absolutely understand this is not actually the correct understanding of how all women think, but I’ve found that it’s good to bear in mind being married. My wife isn’t always like this, or even like this very often, but, when she is, having this framework makes it way easier to figure out what’s happening. Also chocolate and wine help. Like always.