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Lecture 18

Lecture 18 - 131113.doc

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University of Toronto St. George
Deidre Lynch

Lecture 18 – 131113 - Acting menaces stability of the self (Henry Crawford – can do any character and any genre) o Even if he’s sincere in courting of Fanny, he doesn’t seem sincere (even if not acting, he’s suspected of acting) o Fanny is opposed to participation of play – standing up for herself (for someone who hardly does that) o Sense of identity is so hard won that Fanny’s the last person who goes for it - People who say they’re acting aren’t actually acting o Play license them to act on their real desires (rather than pretending to have desires they don’t actually have) - Vol. 1, ch. 18: scene where Amelia (comic character) in Inchbald’s play, almost declares love to the minister of the church, her tutor o At what point does reading a part mean actually acting a part? o Ironies:  Edmund’s playing a clergyman and he’s going to be ordained soon to become a clergyman • Ch. 15, pg. 114: “man who chooses the profession himself…”  Mary knows a little bit of what is cruel about this (knowing Fanny’s feelings towards Edmund)  Voyeurism in aspect of her characterization  Mary hinders Edmund and Fanny’s relationship  Maybe Mary’s the third wheel, or Fanny, or even Edmund • Fanny’s relationship with Mary is edged around something homoerotic • Fascination Mary has for Fanny - Tutor and clergyman to Amelia (Annhalt?) o Who shapes Fanny’s mind? – Edmund  Twist – Mary is playing the character that Fanny most resembles in some way (Mary as Amelia) o Boundary that separates the world of the play from the real world inside the novel is a very fuzzy one  As if play will become reality  Fanny says in ch. 18, pg. 124: “She was inclined to believe…as much ensure their credit.” • It was such natural acting that it’s hard to differentiate from reality  Austen working out aesthetics of play from reality - People who are playing lovers are actually lovers o Man playing clergyman is actual clergyman  Why is the man that’s going to be a clergyman the last person who should choose to play a clergyman? • Could be a danger in mocking the position • Maybe something theatrical about the position of a clergyman that gives it less authority that it actually has - Theatre isn’t something you can enclose into boundaries o Danger of the play is that it knows no boundaries (will start taking over life; will see theatrics everywhere; no sincerity either) o This is a novel that is concerned with boundaries and space o Boundaries of landscape park, etc. o The staging of the play starts creating an improper mixing of spaces  Inside and outside of family starts getting mixed up together • Edmund’s announced motivation of saying he’ll play a part in the play • He says that he doesn’t want others to get involved in the play (neighbours, etc.) o Who’s inside or outside of the family is set through the play - Ch. 16, pg. 121: “I know no harm of Charles…” o Writers of conduct contained same warnings – young men will be with your daughters and in terms of familiarity with them so mother and fathers of Britain,
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