Friday, July 25, 2008

Becoming Jane, or any writer, for that matter

Becoming Jane

I love the opening scenes of Becoming Jane in which Anne Hathaway in seen in the character of a young Jane Austen, madly scribbling at her desk as the day dawns, sunlight streaming in the large windows. The scenes are so serene, and yet there is an energy in them that makes me want to rise with the chickens to do my own scratching! And on some mornings, like this one, I do.

Writing can be something of a compulsive calling, and you can certainly sense something of Jane's compulsion in these scenes! As the embellished story of her love life develops, you begin to see how her writing helps her make sense of reality, allowing her opportunity for reflection and introspection and some chance of creating an ideal life, even if it is a fictional one.

I think I've always idealized the writer's life because it is a life that appears to make more sense than other lives. It's not that it actually does make more sense, though. Writers, after all, are people, and like other people, they are often beset by a whole host of personal problems that no ideal life would include. For Jane Austen, it was tedious neighbors and the absence of Mr. Darcy with his ten thousand pounds per annum that were troublesome to her. Great writers, such as Austen, are dedicated to exploring the questions of what the human experience is all about, and their explorations and discoveries, not to mention their own lives, provide reference points to others of us who feel we are groping our way through the fog.

Thoughts?

**Please note: my reference to Becoming Jane is not necessarily an endorsement of the film. If you want the full review, just ask.

2 comments:

Laura said...

I was thinking of doing a post in reply to this, and it was quite long, but I ended up trashing it.
I'm not so sure if the writer's life does actually make sense. To me it does, but I find many people think we're just confusing. My older brother is a very logical, mathematical person, and though he puts up with me, I am sure that my lack of his logical ways don't make sense to him. I find in writing a way to define my views, shape my ideals, and lift myself from the drudgery that humans can fall into. Writing turns my eyes heavenwards.
I'd definitely agree that life as a writer has problems that others don't have. Money is one, also there is the fact that many people don't think much of "I'm a writer" unless you're published. I struggle with the fact that because I'm young, people say that it's fine as a hobby, but it's not something that I should really pursue.
I really enjoyed this post, and feel like I really ought to watch that movie sometime, I do love Austen after all! Thanks!
-Laura

Anonymous said...

Loved this movie. I loved all of the Austen movies.
I for one am not a writer but I must say I do admire them. What a wonderful gift from above!

~Holly