Real tears upon reading the last pages of Persuasion this afternoon.
I have thoughts swimming about the book — its narrative of sorrow and regret, its needling with the unsteady idea of persuasion, its keen eye on manners as power, its hilarious rendering of passive-selfishness (as opposed to passive-aggressiveness), its accounting of knowing people at their core (homes), its complicated ideas about happiness…. And, why Jane Austen is a rarity in being an author who, once I pick up one of her novels, I do not so much as glance at the other enticing reads on my bedstand. I take her in whole.
But for now, I simply want to point at this beautiful, dark, funny, book. It is Austen's last completed novel. Today, two centuries later, like a magic spell, it moves me.