barometry: ([austen] elizabeth)
[personal profile] barometry
There has been a recent flurry of articles discussing evidence that Jane Austen's style was actually due to an editor, and people, I am confused by the discussion.

There's been some interesting discussion of this topic on Language Log, but I still feel it misses the point, which is this: surely many writers get enormous feedback from their editors not only on their spelling and punctuation, but on their general style, plot architecture, characterization, and many other things.

Is this a false impression I have based on fandom, where friends and beta-readers are known for hugely influencing the shape of finished works? I feel like every pro writer I've ever heard talk about their process also talks about having to rework enormous parts of what they've written based on feedback from others.

So what's the big deal? Is the claim that Jane Austen's (male) contemporaries didn't get this kind of feedback at the manuscript stage, and so she's not "really" a classic author? Is the claim that she didn't actually see/approve the relevant changes, so this wasn't input into her writing so much as an ex-post-facto change to her books?

As I said: so confused.

In other news, I'm totally on track with my writing goals!

14790 / 15000 (98.60%)

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Barometry Jones

October 2014

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