A conversation between Weldon and Austen (with a little poetic license)

Weldon: And that’s why I burnt my favourite bra.

Austen: I’m sorry, but I do not quite understand what relevance that story had to my question.

W: What question’s that?

A: Do you have the time?

W: What? No! I don’t adhere to the normal perception of time, I am Fay Weldon, I am a woman!

A: But women need some kind of order, and structure. All people do.

W: Sorry, what did you say your name was?

A: I am not sure I did introduce myself. My name is Jane, but I would prefer it if you addressed me as Miss Austen.

W: Wait. Jane Austen?

A: Yes.

W: The writer?

A: Yes?

W: OH MY GOD I AM YOUR BIGGEST FAN OKAY OKAY CAN I HAVE AN AUTOGRAPH NO WAIT alright you basically taught me everything about how women should be treated, your books are just an inspiration, they really are.

A: Thankyou. I appreciate your comments. But what do you mean when you say I inspired your opinions on women? From what I’ve heard your unorthodox approach to society hinders your ability to function properly.

W: What are you insinuating?

A: Your insistence at asserting your standing in society through elaborate metaphor and impossible circumstance does nothing for your true abilities as a person. Women are far better off asserting themselves through their actions than through direct accusations that only mar their reputation.

W: Look, you demented harpy, I don’t know what’s happened to the Austen I analysed by myself because I don’t like traditional education systems, but you are most certainly not her. I grew up in the seventies. My niece has green hair. I’m hip. Women shouldn’t passively assert their abilities! Women need encouragement through writings such as yours or mine to take a leap of faith and really show those callous men who’s boss.

A: Neither men nor women are ‘boss’. Decisions should be based on rational thought which is attained through experience –not on which gender you fall under.

W: So experience is how women learn, is that what you think?

A: Experience and a rich education.

W: Ha! Education schmeducation. My niece got a ‘proper education’ at a ‘fancy university’ that ‘accepted her without questioning her sanity’ – and look where that got her! She wrote a stupid book that doesn’t enlighten. It doesn’t even use a city as a metaphor.

A: My work was originally written as entertainment, Miss Weldon. Keep in mind that only through the amusing and preposterous characters could I-

W: How dare you address me as ‘Miss’ Weldon. Do I look like someone who relies on conventional titles? I will be known only as Fay.

A: If, Miss Weldon, you cannot answer a simple question without criticising the constructs of another’s opinions, I do not feel we can converse any longer.

W: Wait, no! I love you!

A: So tell me, Fay, have you learned from this experience?

W: …Yes.

A: And thus I rest my case. Education through experience reaches even the most difficult of women. Notwithstanding that obviously you have learned little of the nuances of polite society through my Literature with its Capital L.

W: I guess. Well, I’ll leave now before this conversation gets any more meta (looks to audience and winks).

A: As shall I.

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#other #fay weldon #jane austen #pride and prejudice #letters to alice #letters to alice on first reading jane austen #english #advanced #advanced english #adv english

Notes

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