Jane Austen’s birthday: Bringing changes to VJA in 2012

16 Dec

Happy birthday, Jane!

There are dozens of blogs and websites celebrating Jane today, which is a powerful thing. Think about all of the topics, guest posts, and online games occurring because of her and her impact. This and events from the past few weeks have helped me to re-think what this site should be in 2012.

The spinoff author interviews were relatively popular on VJA, but most importantly, they’re not what I want to host on here.  I may do one every now and then, but they won’t be the main focus any longer. I’ve really enjoyed them, and I hope you have, too.

But now it’s time to try something new and bring the conversation back!

I started thinking about what I like most about Jane and her world, and it’s her books. I like reading them, and I like highlighting the portions relevant to me at the time. It amazes me how new aspects jump out each time I read them.

For me, it’s all about her books. To be honest, I don’t like many spinoffs, and I don’t care to watch many of the movies. They’re excellent, and I highly support and appreciate the creative minds who make them happen, but I’m a bit of a purist when it comes to Jane. Her own words speak to me the most.

So what does that have to do with VJA and 2012?

I’m embarking on an adventure to read all of her novels again next year — shooting for one novel every two months. On VJA, I’ll regularly post comments and invite discussion. I realize that plenty of blogs host book discussions throughout the year, but I want to see if we can take it a bit further on VJA.

Rather than being just a blog about what’s going on in the world of Jane Austen today, VJA will reflect my own ideas in an attempt to uncover life’s truths in her novels. Instead of a hobby that I regularly update (but sometimes neglect), I’m really going to create a goal to post here on schedule and invite you to help me achieve it along the way. As I explore this aspect of Jane’s world with more excitement and passion, you’ll be able to tell. It’ll make for a much better read.

So here’s to you, Jane. A bit different than the post you’ll find on other blogs today, but I think that’s what I’m aiming for. My gift to her is the simple appreciation of her works and how much they continue to impact our lives. I plan to delve into them and investigate the characters, situations, and words we have grown to love.

Want to celebrate her in this way as well? Join me! I’ll create another post soon with a tentative schedule, discussion topics, and other ideas. Do you have any recommendations for me? Which book should I read first? Is there a particular topic I should emphasize throughout the year? Do you want to be one of my regulars?


5 Responses to “Jane Austen’s birthday: Bringing changes to VJA in 2012”

  1. Irene December 16, 2011 at 1:30 pm #

    Do you really need to ask? Of course I will be one of your regulars!!! At least I will try…
    You know, I’m a compulsive reader of every retelling, spin-off, sequel or prequel I manage to put my hands on. But Jane work is unique, unparalleled, incommensurable!!! I really like this perspective of a return to origins.
    Maybe you can choose between two options: you can read the books following the pubblication order or the writing order.
    The first pubblished was Sense&Sensibility, the first written was Northanger Abbey…
    Perhaps you should begin with S&S… 😛 I don’t really like Catherine Morland…she is to naive.
    What do you think?

  2. Austenite78 December 16, 2011 at 2:17 pm #

    You already know that you can count on me, Carolyn. I love this idea!! Re-reading Austen novels (the original ones) is a pleasure, always a pleasure. Thanks for this going back to the origins!!

  3. Raquel Sallaberry Brião December 16, 2011 at 3:18 pm #


    good luck in your journey next year!

    I will ( I hope so) prepare things to Pride and Prejudice bicentenary in 2013!

    best wishes,

  4. Carolyn Crist December 16, 2011 at 4:39 pm #

    You three ladies are fabulous! Thank you so much for the support, and I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on here. It’s amazing how Jane can bring people together, and I love the way Cinta and Irene phrased it as going “back to the origins.”

    That is exactly what we’ll do!

  5. Austenite78 December 16, 2011 at 6:48 pm #

    It will be a very interesting journey into the novels and the stories. Anytime I read them I find something new, a new layer, a new irony, a new parody…. And my taste is changing too. Pride and Prejudice has always been my favourite novel, but as I grow old and I remain single I am starting to look at Persuasion with different eyes. I am closer to Anne Elliot now than what I have ever been to Elizabeth Bennet. Looking at my life, there are more parallelisms between Anne and me than with any other of the Austen heroines. Funny how our perception of the novels change with time.

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