point of view and control of distance in Emma.pdf - Point of View and the Control of Distance in Emma Author(s Wayne C Booth Source Nineteenth-Century

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Point of View and the Control of Distance in Emma Author(s): Wayne C. Booth Source: Nineteenth-Century Fiction, Vol. 16, No. 2 (Sep., 1961), pp. 95-116 Published by: University of California Press Stable URL: Accessed: 24-09-2017 07:02 UTC JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact [email protected] Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at University of California Press is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Nineteenth-Century Fiction This content downloaded from 197.227.188.164 on Sun, 24 Sep 2017 07:02:45 UTC All use subject to
Point of View and the Control of Distance in Emma WAYNE C. BOOTH I 171 ENRY JAMES ONCE described Jane Austen as an instinctive novelist whose effects, some of which are admittedly fine, can best be explained as "part of her unconsciousness." It is as if she "fell- a-musing" over her workbasket, he said, lapsed into "wool-gather- ing," and afterwards picked up "her dropped stitches" as "little master-strokes of imagination."' The amiable accusation has been repeated in various forms, most recently as a claim that Jane Austen creates characters toward whom we cannot react as she consciously intends.' Though we cannot hope to decide whether Jane Austen was entirely conscious of her own artistry, a careful look at the tech- nique of any of her novels reveals a rather different picture from that of the unconscious spinster with her knitting needles. In Emma especially, where the chances for technical failure are great indeed, we find at work one of the unquestionable masters in the use of technique to control the reader's judgment.' [95] Wayne C. Booth is chairman of the department of English at Earlham College. 1 "The Lesson of Balzac," The Question of our Speech (Cambridge, 1905), p. 60. A fuller quotation of this passage can be found in R. W. Chapman's indispensable Jane Austen: A Critical Bibliography (Oxford, 1955). Some important Austen items published too late to be included by Chapman are: (1) Ian Watt, The Rise of the Novel (Berkeley, 1957); (2) Marvin Mudrick, Jane Austen: Irony as Defense and Discovery (Princeton, 1952); (3) Stuart M. Tave's review of Mudrick, in Philological Quarterly, XXXII (July, 1953), 256-257; (4) Andrew H. Wright, Jane Austen's Novels: A Study in Structure (London, 1953), pp. 36-82; (5) Christopher Gillie, "Sense and Sensibility: An Assessment," Essays in Criticism, IX (Jan., 1959), 1-9, esp. 5-6; (6) Edgar F. Shannon, Jr., "Emma: Character and Construction," PMLA, LXXI (Sept., 1956), 637-650.

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