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Monday, December 13, 2010

PREFATORY NOTE: Jane Eyre and Charlotte Bronte

What I am looking forward to most with our new book, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, is that I haven't read it before.  I will experience it entirely and for the first time with others--like exploring.  Better, I know some of you have read it before!  I am not the expert, though I am the one writing the discussion questions.  Most of you know, and all of you should, that I make a lot of mistakes--everything from banal typographical errors to serious issues of misinterpretation.  PLEASE DON'T BE AFRAID TO QUESTION ME, and DON'T BE AFRAID TO QUESTION EACH OTHER.  That--questioning, discussing (always respectfully, of course)--is what makes this fun and productive.

I read for two reasons: because it's just flipping fun (escapist, thrilling, vicarious experience), and because it's how I learn, and I love to learn.  I always learn more "teaching" a book than I do reading it on my own.  The problem with a blog is that I can't pointedly--at least not with any significant confidence--ask individual audience members for a contribution.  If you are reading the book with us, PLEASE MAKE COMMENTS! This is not for the publicity of the blog or to get as many "hits" as possible.  This is to increase my and everyone else's experience with the book--a great one, to be sure.

pastel of Charlotte Bronte
That said, this is all I'm giving as introduction to Charlotte Bronte and her most famous novel:

Wikipedia, folks.  I'm a huge fan.  As long as you stay away from the problems that crop up there around issues of pop culture, the information is sound and documented.  An understanding of author and surrounding history is a great place to begin an understanding of the text.  Go HERE and HERE (there are spoilers at the second link, so beware!), and, even if you've already read the book, tell us what you predict for the experience.

Also, if you happen to own your own copy of the book, rather than having dredged up an e-text from online like me, DO READ THE PREFACE.  The folks that write those things know what they're talking about and are generally fans of the books they promote with their knowledge and expertise.

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