Gifts from the Internet

Internet, I do not want to talk about Charlie Sheen. Yes, the memes are funny, but the man has two small children and a history of domestic violence, which rather spoils the yuks.

Instead, here’s why I’m grateful for the Internet today. Ta-Nehisi Coates, whose blog I have mentioned admiring before, has discovered Jane Austen.

I love this about blogs—the way they allow you to observe the authors’ thoughts and reactions evolving over the short term. There is such a pleasure in watching a writer who I admire falling into books that I love—and given that I was initially attracted to TNC because he writes so incisively about race in America, a particular pleasure in hearing him declare: “I feel like she’s talking to me, and strangely enough, only to me. It really is kind of sick to say this, but I think I’m in love.” Austen is so often pigeonholed as a genre writer and dismissed on those grounds, and contemporary black writers can be pigeonholed in the same way, stuck off on the African-American shelves in one shadowy corner of the bookstore. It’s delightful to watch two minds reaching across time, geography, and culture to create that ageless alchemy that happens when a receptive reader takes up a great book.

Ta-Nehisi + Jane Austen 4ever. They make such a lovely couple.

2 Responses to “Gifts from the Internet”

  • Madeline Says:

    This is fantastic, and very timely for me, as I had also just been thinking along those same lines about the whole Charlie Sheen business, and had also just been thinking about Jane Austen! What a great blog. (Ta-Nehisi’s, to be sure, but also yours!)

    • shannon Says:

      I remembered as I was reading TNC that there exist in the world Jane Austen books I have not read. (I’ve never read Northanger Abbey, or Mansfield Park). I experienced a moment of joy and delight and then immediately went and ordered them from Amazon. I’m so happy! I have Jane Austen to look forward to!

Leave a Reply