It is that dollop of wisdom that elevates our daily duties as humans, and from as a simple comedy of manners as Austen's.
It’s not too heavy-handed or even, I concede, that constant read rejuvenates the mind and soul. It brings us closer to understanding someone else's mind and thoughts. It brings comfort and allure; a solid escape from normalcy, and constant moral resonance.
For as delightful as Austen’s static world may be, it is the humbling, bracing confrontation with the self that lifts both readers and the book itself beyond caricature and plotty romance.
In Austen’s universe, the gravest crises may be moral, but these moral failings induce unwanted suffering. Life may reduce us to the unpalatable complacency of wealth-seeking and self-regard. But the few are lucky at the end of life's saga. Life my right itself, often allowing one to savor the grace of normalcy.
I still behold “Pride and Prejudice” once in a while as a quieter favorite like “Persuasion.” The calm certainties of the book has a revivifying dose of mad improvisation and physicality. It keeps reminding me how infinitely adaptable human nature is, and how grateful I remain in the comfort I found in those pages.
Merry Christmas and a happy new year to Y'all.