The Many Lovers of Jane Austen: Irony & Parody
Ruiz-de-Alegria Puig, Iratxe
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[EN]In view of the plain fact that it exists a vibrant culture of Austen academic studies as well as interpretations, prequels and sequels of her novels together with an extensive production of films and on line series, not to mention the tones of merchandising sold in big stores about Austen herself or about her male character par excellence, Darcy, one keeps wondering why Jane Austen. Indeed, whilst the term “Janeites” was coined late 19th century, it is hard to imagine admirers of Shakespeare calling themselves “Willies”. In addition, pilgrimage to Austen’s holy spots was long ago surpassed by visits to Stratford. This paper seeks to debate about the reasons why a woman who used to sign her works “by a lady”, and on the brink of fading away were it not for her nephew, James Edward Austen Leigh, is still well alive. The truth is that being Jane Austen regarded as one of the greatest novelist ever, she left no diaries and her sister Cassandra made disappear from the letters she thought too compromising. Austen constitutes definitely something of a mystery. Accordingly, some argue that the mayor reason for this 21st century global phenomenon would lie in the fact that we have to use our imagination to fill in the blanks she deliberately left empty either in her novels or in her own life. However, I do not strongly agree with this argument as a means of shedding some light on why we keep reading Jane Austen today. My main task will be, therefore, to prove that Austen’s appeal must be sought, above all, in her ability to laugh at unfair conventions. Her technique, however, is applied in such a subtle way that it is not “suitable for all audiences”. As a consequence, the vast majority of the adaptations as well as sequels and prequels of Austen’s novels are nowadays displayed in crude parody such as Confesiones de una Heredera con Demasiado Tiempo Libre (2015).