Kathy's still pitching!

6:19 PM Mar 14, 2005by Rob Ritchie

Final Round

2:52 PM Jul 7, 2004by Rob Ritchie

Blogger was down when I looked for it yesterday, but it's back up today.

Round  Three!

Reviews to follow....

Update: It has been excessively diverting to read the arguments on both sides, and also interesting how at times the arguments center on the characters of Elizabeth Bennett and Emma Woodhouse; and at other times, the virtues of the novels themselves are the point of discussion. Character, plot, and setting all are so intertwined that it is difficult to discuss one separately from the other.

Novels are usually described as being “plot-driven” or “character-driven” and are usually a combination of the two. Both Emma and Lizzie are memorable characters, and we will have to agree that they both have their charms to recommend them. I believe, however, that of the two, Ms. Bennett is the superior, due to her better intellect and wit; her interactions with other characters never devolve to farce due to her lack of understanding.

The various plots of Pride and Prejudice and Emma are both intriguing, but again, I prefer the depth of the former to the appeal of the latter.

I think that both Kathleen and Robert gave stentorian efforts on behalf of their girls, but it all comes down to taste, I believe. Even the rare flaws in Kathleen’s arguments (sorry, chief) and the good points in Robert’s horribly one-sided Moorean polemic are unable to shake my faith in the natural superiority of Miss Elizabeth Bennett.

7:00 PM Jul 1, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

I'm too busy to read, so my comments will be forthcoming.

For now, get a head start on me: Round Two!

(Slightly later): Robert writes:

The unquestionably good heroine, a rebel within her own home, uses her wit, wisdom and strength to protect her weak and clueless friends and family, foil the villainous plots of The Establishment, and cause the God-like rich and handsome hero to pay for his early haughtiness, go through a period of penitent anguish and, in the end, worship her on her own terms. Not to be unkind about it, but these are the fantasies of the young – self-centered, simple and idealistic. Austen spent many years working on Pride & Prejudice before it was finally published. I believe the characters and plot never quite escaped their youthful origins.

Hmmm...not content to castigate Elizabeth Bennet, Robert now slings the mud at Ms. Austen herself. Grrr.....good point, though.

Meanwhile Kathleen concludes:

Elizabeth’s faults, in presupposing Mr. Darcy’s guilt in Wickham’s situation, lie in relying too strongly upon the products of her own sense and intellect; Emma’s faults lie in not having enough sense to know better. One gets the impression that Mr. Knightley will forever be correcting his wife; if Emma has truly learned the errors of her ways, why should this be the case? Pride and Prejudice is a satisfying novel because of the character of its protagonists, who will take the lessons they have learned to heart. Can we say the same of Emma?

The image of Knightley correcting Emma's behavior with a buggy-whip is simply too wonderful! (OK, so I added the buggy-whip.) Overall, Kathleen's prose is lilting and lively, and her arguments convincing.

Round Two goes to: Lizzie!

(Am I welcome back in the posse now?)

It's On! Live-blogging follows!

5:33 PM Jun 29, 2004by Rob Ritchie

Kathleen the Cake Eater and Robert the Llama Butcher have started Round One!


Update: Ok, Robert makes a fine argument why we should love and cherish Emma (and, really, all posturing aside, she is perfectly lovable, despite her faults). As he states, her flaws have such consequences that we cannot help but be moved by her foibles and improvement.

I think he's on weaker ground in his last paragraph, though, where he contrasts Emma with P&P, and where he again "slanders" Elizabeth Bennett as a "paragon of virtues".

Update 2: Kathleen has taken the interesting path of presenting Elizabeth Bennett as a prior-age super-hero. I am somewhat chagrined to find that she, like Robert, seems to believe that Lizzie is a "paragon of virtues!"

I don't deny any of her fine qualities, but Kathleen seems to forget that Lizzie's problems do, to some extent, arise from her inclination to view all others as a source of amusement, and from her tendency to pre-judge others (for example, and primarily, Mr. Darcy). She has her blind spots and their impact on the plot are not insignificantly smaller than those in Emma

Gosh, after reading these through, and simply on the evidence provided, I am led (dragging my feet and screaming bloody murder) to asign the first round to: Emma

D'oh! I had earlier continually called Kathleen Katherine, due to stupidity and poor memory on my part. This has been corrected. Sorry.

Oh, please!

7:08 PM Jun 22, 2004by Rob Ritchie

There's been further developments in the Elizabeth Bennett / Emma Woodhouse feud I mentioned earlier.

Both the Butcher and the Cake-Eater have talked a little trash, but the Llama Butcher goes over the line by calling Ms. Bennett "Little Miss Goody-Two-Shoes." The book doesn't have the word "Prejudice" in the title solely for alliterative purposes, after all.

I can only assume that the camelid dismemberer has never actually read the novel under discussion.

Is it possible that his only prior aquaintence with Ms. Woodhouse was here?

Jane Austin Cage Match!

6:14 PM Jun 19, 2004by Rob Ritchie

This ought to be fun.

Robert the Llama Butcher has challenged Kathleen the Cake Eater (or maybe, Kathleen challenged Robert, it's hard to say) to an Austin-off, to determine, once and for all, which Austin character is better, Elizabeth Bennett (Pride and Prejudice) or Emma Woodhouse (Emma).

Visit them at the links above for details, and stay tuned because I'll be following up on this.

Punk-ass Emma can't touch my girl Lizzy, but that'll be apparent soon enough.