Like any other redblooded American female, I am obsessed with Pride and Prejudice (the book, the brilliant miniseries, even the surprisingly excellent Joe Wright film starring Keira Knightley as Elizabeth and Matthew McFadyen as a shockingly good Darcy).
So I've truly enjoyed the latter passages in Azar Nafisi's Reading Lolita in Tehran, when Nafisi writes about Austen and her characters, how she compares P&P to an 18th century dance, how its depiction of a restrictive society compares with postrevolutionary Iran.
She writes: "Pride and Prejudice" is not poetic, but it has its own cacophonies and harmonies; voices approach and depart and take a turn around the room. Right now, as I flip through pages, I can hear them leaping out. I catch Mary's pathetic, dry voice and Kitty's cough and Miss Bingley's chaste insinuations, and here I catch a word by the courtly Sir Lucas. I can't quite hear Miss Darcy, shy and reserved as she is, but I hear steps going up and down the stairs, and Elizabeth's light mockery and Darcy's reserved, tender tone, and as I close the book, I hear the ironic tone of the narrator. And even with the book closed, the voices do not stop - there are echoes and reverberations that seem to leap off the pages and mischievously leave the novel tingling in our ears."