Monday, January 2, 2012

Sense & Sensibility: The Abercrombie & Fitch Experience

Chapters Read: 1-13
Sanity Level: Normal
Update: I could've done without the first few chapters of this book. So, like the third sister in this novel; I'm going to pretend like they don't exist.

Elinor and Marianne.
I really want to talk about Marianne and Elinor. The two sisters who remind me of Daria and Quinn from MTV's Daria. Elinor is a bit prudish, rude-ish, and sarcastic-ish. Marianne is a bit fancy free and falls down hills.* Both are ravishingly beautiful and have a ravishingly beautiful mother (Mrs. Dashwood).

The differences don't stop there, though. The two also have vastly different tastes in men. And let me tell you, there are tons of good looking guys in this book so far. Apparently in the 19th century everyone looks like an Abercrombie & Fitch model. I'm not even kidding:
"Sir John Middleton was a good-looking man about forty." 
"His manly beauty and more than common gracefulness were instantly the theme of general admiration" 
"Miss Dashwood had a delicate complexion, regular features, and a remarkably pretty figure."
I mean, Austen nailed it and she nailed it before anyone else thought of it: no one wants to read about ugly people and their love lives. The only person who is ugly is Sir John, Marianne and Elinor's weirdo cousin**. Oh and Mrs. Jennings. Who is fairly obese and gets into everyone's business. Also Edward. So it's not really an A&F catalog, it's more like Sears.

See, Elinor had this little somethin' somethin' goin' on back home with this guy named Edward. She moved, so it kind of ended abruptly. Now she spends all her time hanging out with a guy named Colonel Brandon. I call him Colonel Silverfox because he's, like, 20 years older than her but is totally going to hit that. Which I find strange but it's the 19th century and people are adhering to ridiculous social etiquette, so whatever.

Marianne (after falling down that pesky hill) meets Willoughby. Or Will Bow Bow as I've been calling him. Will Bow Bow is all about some Marianne. The two spend so much time together that everyone starts to make fun of them.
Such conduct of course made them exceedingly laughed at: but ridicule could not shame, and seemed hardly to provoke them.
That's Austen for "Wow. Those two are stuck up each others asses." At this point everyone is trying to figure out if they're engaged or not.

I am actually getting into this book and the characters. It's probably because every character gossips about every other character. It turns out I'm reading the 19th century version of Mall Rats. I can see how someone read Emma and went on to make Clueless.

Notable Lines:
  • The old gentleman died; his will was read, and like almost every other will, gave as much disappointment as pleasure.
  • She was sensible and clever, but eager in everything; her sorrows, her joys, could have no moderation.
  • The whole story would have been speedily formed under her active imagination, and everything established in the most melancholy order of disastrous love.
*I laughed extremely hard at this moment. Especially when a young strapping man shows up to carry her home. 
**Sir John is creepily nice to his female cousins. Giving them a place to live an all. He also throws parties for the younger crowd. All. The. Fucking. Time. If this book were written today Sir John would be driving a van without windows.


  1. you are my favorite person ever, churching it up like a beast.

    i will add Will Bow Bow to the list of HOG phrases that i appreciate.

    this whole thing made my coffee taste especially delicious.

  2. I'm waiting for someone to spit their coffee out while reading this. I'm on day two now and it seems to me that all this British perkiness might start driving me crazy... so expect at least one or two off-color phrases to pop up.

  3. Sense and Sensibility has been one of my security blanket reads, but I'm loving reading a new perspective. I would've snorted my coffee at the Sir John's Windowless White Van, but I need my computer for school, so...
    Glad you like the JA Fight Club. I decided if I join the roller derby, my derby name will be Hellinor Dashwood.

  4. I spit out water does that count? (It was the windowless van comment, by the way.) This is one of my favorite go-to reads, but I've never seen it described in such a fabulous way.

  5. Debra, I certainly can see myself rereading this far into the future. Sir John probably has a windowless carriage. She never mentions it, but I'm sure he does.

    Jenn, it does count! Any liquid does.

  6. I just effing love Jane Austen. Her social commentary and banter and wit and snide comments are just so freaking rad.

    And your spin on them all is simply smashing. Well played, Adam.

  7. Lisa, I feel like Austen is my soul mate at this point. If we were standing in line at a bank and someone cut line we'd both simply shout out "That's not proper and you're not very good looking at all!"

  8. "It turns out I'm reading the 19th century version of Mall Rats."

    "If this book were written today Sir John would be driving a van without windows."

    Yup, dry pants are needed.

  9. I'm sure Sir John approves of your situation, Ginger.

  10. Don't you mean, Sir Creepy White Van John ;)

  11. These posts are harious! "creepy cousin" is right!! Cracked up at the white van comment. Haha.

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