Two weeks ago I wrote an essay in a bid for a PhD slot in a university in the southwestern pacific. Just when I was about to send it over, I realized that if I were offered a place, the very topic I built a case on would send me back to Thailand for data-gathering. I didn't fancy that and decided to work on something that will keep me afloat should I face drudgery at some point in the research. Since I have always been a fan of a rector's daughter who was a writing machine at a time when a king's son ruled England, I happily spent hours breezing through massive literature on her. Jane Austen, the name that could launch a thousand nights of delightful observations.
Except for the titles in bold font, I listed them according to how they appear on Literary History. They should help me nail an idea on how to proceed with brainstorming later. If I ever change my mind about the unfinished essay yet again or even abandon PhD for some reason, I know I won't regret the pleasure of this reading experience:
1. Ascarelli, Miriam. "A Feminist Connection: Jane Austen and Mary Wollstonecraft." Persuasions 25 (2004).
2. DeForest, Mary and Eric Johnson. "Computing Latinate Word Usage in Jane Austen's Novels." A description of a computer-aided study developed to identify the use of Latinate language by characters in Jane Austen. Computers and Text (2000).
3. Graham, Peter W. "Born to Diverge: An Evolutionary Perspective on Sibling Personality Development in Austen's Novels." Persuasions 25 (2004).
4. Graves, David Andrew. "Vocabulary Profiles of Letters and Novels of Jane Austen and her Contemporaries." Persuasions 26 (2005).
5. McCawley, Dwight. "Assertion and Aggression in the Novels of Jane Austen." McCawley makes use of the distinction between assertion and aggression from popular books on "assertiveness training" to discuss Austen's characters. Persuasions 11 (1989).
6. Nelles, William. "Omniscience for atheists: or, Jane Austen's infallible narrator." Narrative (2006). On the comparison of the narrator to God.
7. Zunshine, Lisa. "Why Jane Austen was different, and why we may need cognitive science to see it." Style (2007).
8. Ellwood, Gracia Fay. "'Such a Dead Silence:' Cultural Evil, Challenge, Deliberate Evil, and Metanoia in Mansfield Park." Persuasions 24 (2003).
9. Duckworth, W. "Reading Emma: Comic Irony, the Follies of Janeites, and Hermeneutic Mastery." Persuasions 24 (2003).
10. Gilbert, Deirdre E. "'Willy-Nilly' and Other Tales of Male-Tails: Rightful and Wrongful Laws of Landed Property in Northanger Abbey and Beyond." Persuasions 20 (1999).
11. Jones, Susan E. "Thread-cases, Pin-cushions, and Card-racks: Women's Work in the City in Jane Austen's Persuasion." Persuasions 25 (2004).
12. Rytting, Jenny Rebecca. "Jane Austen Meets Carl Jung: Pride, Prejudice, and Personality Theory." Persuasions 22 (2001).
13. Dinkler, Michal Beth. "Speaking of Silence: Speech and Silence as a Subversive Means of Power in Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility." Persuasions 25 (2004).