So I was reading Kiss & Tell by Alain de Botton (a book I thought would be far more romantic than it turned out to be), when I came across an Emma reference! Kiss & Tell is (fiction) biography of a man who documents his meeting with Isabel Rogers of whom he becomes infatuated with. The man begins to read Emma by Jane Austen, and compares Emma Woodhouse to a past girlfriend. “I would have ascribed Emma the face of one of her namesakes I had known and tried to seduce at university” (34.) He comes to describe Emma as witty, sharp, a touch spoilt, and ridiculous. He admits that because of his ex girlfriend, his reading of the character is prejudice just as his (first) reading of Isabel Rogers is biased. He also astutely foreshadows Emma’s future saying, “the idea of the girl living to be twenty-one with little to distress or vex her would…lead one to hope she wouldn’t reach twenty-two without something redemptively catastrophic occurring” (35.) I found this amusing because we had discussed in class whether or not we thought Emma would soon reach a point of maturity, and his hope that Emma would meet some catastrophe is probably what she needs to fully mature and appreciate what she has.

Cheers,

Celine

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