2017/03/28

Regency Romance Authors Must Disavow Jane Austen

First it was cartoon frogs, then milk. Now the New York Times informs us that celebrated British author Jane Austen has become an insidious symbol for the dastardly alt-right.

Jane Austen MAGA hat

From the article:
Nicole M. Wright, an assistant professor of English at the University of Colorado, describes finding a surprising Austen fan base.
It started, she writes, when she noticed the provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos riffing on the famous first line of “Pride and Prejudice,” turning it into a dig at “ugly” feminists. (He also mistakenly called Austen, who died during the reign of George III, a “Victorian” novelist, but whatever.)
Looking around, Ms. Wright also found more straight-faced references to Austen in alt-right paeans to racial purity and subservient wives, including a shout-out from a blogger promoting the infamous meme of Taylor Swift as an “Aryan goddess.”
Some alt-right admirers hail Austen’s novels as blueprints for a white nationalist “ethno-state.” Others cite her as a rare example of female greatness. But the bigger point, Ms. Wright argues, is the same.
“By comparing their movement not to the nightmare Germany of Hitler and Goebbels, but instead to the cozy England of Austen,” she writes, alt-right Austen fans “nudge readers” into thinking that “perhaps white supremacists aren’t so different from mainstream folks.”
You can read the rest of the Times' dire warning here.

It's time for all tolerant, free-thinking people to acknowledge the only acceptable conclusion. Though the truth is disturbing, the Times and its readers have never been known to shrink from facts that challenge their deeply ingrained worldview.

Jane Austen's works--and the author herself--are being used as propaganda tools to advance the backward, monarchist, Nixonian, bimetalist views of the extreme right end of the political horseshoe.

You could argue that it's not Austen's fault that her Regency-era romance books have been co-opted by the far right. However, making that argument is equivalent to saying that there's nothing inherently racist about Pepe the Frog or whole milk. After all, the alt-right wouldn't have such an easy time using Austen's novels to spread their Anarcho-Tyranist poison if there were nothing problematic about them to begin with.

The Times itself points to red flags in Austen's work--which, we must always remember, was written at the height of British imperialism.
But Ms. Wells said scholars teaching Austen at schools with “substantially multicultural students” still wrestled with a truth that must, perhaps, be uncomfortably acknowledged.
“Her characters are white, and her world is white,” she said. “What do you do with that?”
What, indeed?

I won't presume to speak for anyone else, but as a science fiction and fantasy author, I think that it's incumbent upon authors of Regency romance to publicly and unequivocally disavow Jane Austen for giving the bigoted Fabian nihilists of the alt-right a vehicle to preach their theocratic nonsense. Even if those authors have previously won Hugo awards.

The Soul Cycle novels are deservedly on my “I want to read that again” list; I heartily recommend you add them to your list too.

10 comments:

  1. Anyone who thinks it is still ok to read Jane Austen in 2017 needs to be punched in the face!

    IT"S NOT OK!

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  2. This was great! As an alt-righter-in-training myself, I have had on my reading list Persuasion, Mansfield Park, Sense and Sensibility, and Emma as of currently. Jane Austen and the Brontes actually!
    In fact, the Brontes also have a very white viewpoint of the world. Their characters are white and there isn't much room for a thread of atheism in their white-supremacist romance Anarcho-Tyranist, Christian Theocratic Monarchist books.

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    Replies
    1. The Bronte sisters are a decadent Western phenomenon, comrade.

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    2. well the whole racial wars started in the decadent west!

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  3. I hope /pol/ tries convincing them that oxygen is racist so they boycott it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If the New York Times and Samantha Bee told them that oxygen was racist, I'm convinced that there are people in their audience who'd hold their breath till they passed out.

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    2. Without doubt or questioned, the World of Cultural Marxism would be greatly lessened should these communications come to pass.

      Fortunately, Comrades, thousands of these new safe space chambers will shelter our delicate ones until the Danger of Information is over.

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    3. Yes! The strength of Communist peoples will protect them!

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  4. The actions they contemplate should help to accelerate the complete Narrowing of the Marxist Mind to its anticipated finely-pointed apex.

    I'm certain that Ms Austen would be happy to disassociate from this crowd as well.

    ReplyDelete