Watching sport, reading female writers

I've just enjoyed a weekend's top class sport on TV. Pick of the crop was England's cricket 338 run tie with India in the 50 over world chanpionships. Then for sheer enjoyment Italy v Wales at rugby union followed by Arsenal losing (sorry K) to Birmingham at football then Scotland v Ireland and England v France tied for runners up. Oh, and I nearly forgot an Englishman (Luke Donald) beating a German (Martin Kaymer) in the final of the World Matchplay golf.

Why do so few women have as deep an interest as do most men in competitive sport? Silly question really. A bit like the classic 'why are we here?'. We are because we are: they don't because they don't.

Along the same lines, why have I so often shied away from the works of most women writers? I say most because Margaret Attwood is one of my 'top ten to read' writers - and Dr Rachel Carsion created four of the my top ten non-fiction titles; (Silent Spring etc).

The question occurs because I have at last begun (and will finish) Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. I've been to Chawton and have stood in the little upstairs room where that novel and several of her other novels were written. It was said that she deliberately kept the downstairs door hinges unlubricated, thus she could hear when anyone came in whilst she was working pen in hand. At which point she would cram all her papers away out of sight in her desk drawer. Big question marks over young ladies who wrote stories in those days!

After all these years of denial Miss Austen grabbed me by the figurative throat right off in chapter one. What brilliant writing - her instant depiction of the relationship between Mrs Bennett and the long suffering, female surrounded, ultra diplomatic Mr Bennett! All the poor man was trying to do was watch the sport.

On the other hand it is said that male novelists cannot really hope to 'see the world' through the eyes and the mind of a female of our species. Hmmm - we shall see. Two of my first four short stories of the month are written through a woman as viewpoint character.

1 comment:

  1. Austen's humour, in my opinion, is what makes her brilliant. Her ability to observe people and make even their most petty idiocyncracies seem quirky and amusing.

    I'm a rare one in that I prefer Sense and Sensibility to some of her more famous books. Northanger Abbey's good too. ;-)

    As for sport... I like your answer a lot. :-) Some things just are what they are. My dad shared your joy at the weekend. He's been gobbling down TV sport here.


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