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Poll #1027394… - Sally's Journal
July 25th, 2007
11:34 am

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Poll #1027394 Literary Bitch Fight

Who's the best?

George Eliot
7(17.9%)
Gestalt Brontes
12(30.8%)
Jane Austin
19(48.7%)

On the Gestalt Brontes, who's the best?

Charlotte
17(47.2%)
Anne
5(13.9%)
Emily
10(27.8%)
Branwell
3(8.3%)

(37 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments
 
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From:shreena
Date:July 25th, 2007 10:41 am (UTC)
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I would have voted for Thackery if you'd put him in the poll but definitely Eliot of those three.
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From:atreic
Date:July 25th, 2007 11:15 am (UTC)
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How can I have a literary bitch fight with a boy?

Hmm, I have never read any Thackery, I should try. I do love Hardy at least as much as any of these...

*shush about Branwell, you pedants at the back there. He didn't write anything, did he?*
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From:mtbc100
Date:July 25th, 2007 10:49 am (UTC)
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Comes and goes for me.
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From:atreic
Date:July 25th, 2007 11:13 am (UTC)
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I think LJ is having a Bad Day.
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From:emperor
Date:July 25th, 2007 10:43 am (UTC)
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[x] GCSE English Literature killed my brain, you insensitive clod!
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From:lnr
Date:July 25th, 2007 11:29 am (UTC)
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I didn't do any of them at GCSE FWIW.
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From:samholloway
Date:July 25th, 2007 01:47 pm (UTC)
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GCSE Eng Lit killed my ability to enjoy literature for what it actually is, by overstating the need to analyse every single last detail. I don't imagine for a second that Bronte, Dickens or Hardy imagined every last sub-clause and pronoun would be scoured for hidden meaning. The subject seems to be the art of trying to make a novel into something it's not.

BTW, do we reckon that in a similar poll a hundred years hence, the name 'Rowling' would appear?
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From:oedipamaas49
Date:July 26th, 2007 10:35 am (UTC)
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I doubt it. I still have hopes of Pratchett getting a Dickens-level reputation, though.

I confess I've never found Eliot/Austin/any Brontes all that thrilling, but I suspect that's just lack of patience on my part.
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From:feanelwa
Date:July 26th, 2007 10:51 am (UTC)
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I still never figured out what you were supposed to do in English Literature. What does it achieve? In science you were supposed to figure something out so that you understood it and could predict what it does, but what would be the use of predicting what Jane Austen is going to do next? She's dead, and if you knew what they were going to write there wouldn't be any reason to read the book anyway.
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From:samholloway
Date:July 26th, 2007 08:31 pm (UTC)
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I think that's a very typical scientist-profile reaction to Eng Lit. I agree entirely. :-) I'd rather read a good book for reading's sake, for enjoyment, and all I'll be trying to learn from it is a new turn of phrase or possibly a few original adjectives.
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From:feanelwa
Date:July 26th, 2007 09:00 pm (UTC)
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If anybody has a different purpose to English Literature to that one, I would genuinely love to hear it, because I really have no idea what it's for and it bothers me that so many people could fuss around something that I can't see a reason for. It's like not knowing why people hoover underneath the sofa, and then maybe one day a cloud of moths will fly out and I will know but it will be too late.
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From:samholloway
Date:July 27th, 2007 01:45 pm (UTC)
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You may wish to hoover under the sofa as dust will accumulate, home to dust mites, which then breed and get round the rest of your house. However, there's a strong argument for saying that actually *moving* the sofa does most of the disruption. Therefore, if you're asthmatic as I am (albeit mildly), best to find someone else to move the sofa for you while you're outdoors.

Back to the books (unless you wish to continue the dust conversation). Is there a useful purpose to Eng Lit, other than it being a way of exposing people to literature? Anyone?
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From:beckyc
Date:July 25th, 2007 10:54 am (UTC)
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I hated Jane Austen at school, but loved Wuthering Heights. Now, I still think that Wuthering Heights is my favourite of any of the Brontës' books, but I much prefer Austen.

The book that I took in my day bag when I was hiking the Inca trail was Sense and Sensibility, of all things, which definitely jars with the surroundings! Partly I took it because it was small and light, and partly because I'd reread Pride and Prejudice a little too recently. (Before you get too surprised that it wasn't JRRT, that was on my MP3 player and was what I listened to whilst actually hiking.)
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From:atreic
Date:July 25th, 2007 11:13 am (UTC)
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I have always hated Jane Austin, but must admit I haven't actually tried to read any for about 10 years (after reading Emma and P+P at around 14 - 18 I gave up in disgust) Maybe it's time to try again.
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From:lnr
Date:July 25th, 2007 11:29 am (UTC)
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I rather thought you'd be more inclined to spell her right if you actually liked her.

I'm not voting. I've read all the Austen, no Eliot and only one each of Emily and Charlotte, so I can't really compare.
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From:half_of_monty
Date:July 26th, 2007 09:17 am (UTC)
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Yes! Read Northanger Abbey and laugh yourself silly!

Apparently it's even funnier if you actually know any gothic novels, but you get the idea very fast - I've never read any and I still love it to bits. Maybe not her best, but the most impossible not to love.

I have accidentally only read minor George Elliot's, but intending to Middlemarch it over the summer.
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From:feanelwa
Date:July 26th, 2007 10:52 am (UTC)
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I too am of this opinion. Apparently it is a witty social commentary, and maybe at 16 I didn't have the perspective to notice.
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From:1ngi
Date:July 26th, 2007 06:20 pm (UTC)
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Try Persausion or S+S first. I got Emma forced down my throat at A level and it put me off for about 15 years. I've read them all now and love P and S+S, still can't stand Emma.
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From:randomchris
Date:July 25th, 2007 11:01 am (UTC)
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Shockingly, I've never read any of the above authors.

(I started a Jane Austen book once and hated the writing style.)
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From:bopeepsheep
Date:July 25th, 2007 11:03 am (UTC)
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Jane Austen and Anne Bronte. (I can't hit Submit Poll successfully, the poll is coming and going.) Charlotte had more success but I find more personal enjoyment in Anne's work.
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From:aardvark179
Date:July 25th, 2007 11:17 am (UTC)
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Would this be the Jane Austin who wrote Fence and Fencibility?
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From:ghoti
Date:July 25th, 2007 11:44 am (UTC)
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I love Austen's work, so she'd win on pretty much any poll. Most of the Bronte books I've read I haven't touched since I left school (but didn't read at school - I went on a Bronte kick when I was about 15). Maybe I should.

(Oh, and we read Pride & Prejudice for GCSE. Also Hamlet and something else which I fail to remember. It's a long time ago, and GCSE blurs into the years before and AS level (for which, actually, we read Susan Hill's 'A bit of singing and dancing' (which I hated) and Rosencrantz and Guildenstein are dead (hence the Hamlet). So I do remember the distinction.))
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From:catyak
Date:July 25th, 2007 11:50 am (UTC)
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I've never read anything by any of them. Can't you add Asimov and Heinlein to the list?

D
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From:pozorvlak
Date:July 25th, 2007 03:09 pm (UTC)
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Well, no, because they're not female. But she could add Ursula le Guin...
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From:ringbark
Date:July 25th, 2007 06:37 pm (UTC)
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So why is Branwell on the list?
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From:atreic
Date:July 26th, 2007 08:34 am (UTC)
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From:yrieithydd
Date:July 25th, 2007 12:28 pm (UTC)
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Wuthering heights I've never re-read -- though I did start it a few weeks ago but obviously got distracted by something else -- I have a soft spot of [i]Agnes Grey[/i] and [i]Tenant of Wildfell Hall[/i] so I vote Anne, but I like Charlotte too. I re-read [i]The Professor[/i] a while ago which I like. Austen I like. Eliott I find a bit too depressing. [i]Silas Marner[/i] and [i]Mill on the Floss[/i] are re-readable but [i]Middlemarch[/i] is too long and annoying. I did here part of one of hers on Radio 4 the other week so maybe I should read it to work out what was going in on.
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From:libellum
Date:July 25th, 2007 02:13 pm (UTC)
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I think George Eliot is the best writer of this collection by far. But Jane Austen's funny, and has her own, junk-foody charm.

Anyway, all the above are clearly defeated hands-down by Georgette Heyer :D
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From:ashfae
Date:July 25th, 2007 03:32 pm (UTC)
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*coughcoughAustencoughcough*
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From:countess_rezia
Date:July 25th, 2007 08:53 pm (UTC)
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Overall, there are more Austen books I love than Bronte, but, for me, Wuthering Heights so far outshines everything else by any of these authors that Brontes win.

I don't like anything I've read by George Elliot, I must confess.
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From:liseuse
Date:July 25th, 2007 10:38 pm (UTC)
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I intensely dislike Austen and Eliot, so it had to be the Brontes. And Wuthering Heights has a very special place in my heart because of the collective insanity it inspired in my A-Level English class. I want to like Eliot, mostly because my wonderful A-Level teacher wrote her MPhil on Eliot, and got us all to try reading some of her work. Unfortunately none of us enjoyed it. I think I might go back to it in a few years and see if I like it then.

Oh, and it had to be Branwell. He's exciting and bold and I drank a pint in the same pub he drank in, whilst shivering from getting caught in the rain up by Top Withins.
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From:feanelwa
Date:July 26th, 2007 10:54 am (UTC)
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When I have finished this blasted Anthony Trollope, my stamina for the social lives of Victorian idiots might have increased such that I can now read any of those who aren't called Bronte.
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