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Wednesday, July 24, 2019 at 7:00pm
Kennedy Hall, Call Auditorium
David Faulkner from Cornell's John S. Knight Institute for Writing in the Disciplines, examines why Jane Austen's work continues to influence global popular culture today. Austen’s cult status can't be explained by any single cause, but her writing career essentially began as fanfiction, parodying and paying tribute to the popular culture of her day. Examples are her wildly subversive “Juvenilia” short story collection and her first completed novel, "Northanger Abbey," which mocks yet celebrates the vogue for Gothic horror fiction in the revolutionary 1790s. As an Austen enthusiast, Faulkner speculates that her continued popularity might be related not only to social and historical factors linking the late eighteenth century to our own era, but also to what makes her fiction a delightful and productive basis for his First-Year Writing Seminar: the fruitful interaction between academic and amateur ways of thinking about narrative, the way that imaginative writing engenders more imaginative writing, and the pleasure and power of rewriting a beloved story.