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Sex and Sensibility*

Bawdy Version of Sense and Sensibility

As a massive fan of Jane Austen fan fiction, when I saw that an author had written a book of verse revolving around a more sensual version of Sense and Sensibility, I was intrigued.

This collection of verses isn’t just the story of Sense and Sensibility. There are stanzas where the author directly addresses the reader about a variety of topics, including what she thought about while writing, what she discussed with others about it, social commentary about Jane Austen or Regency England, etc. To me, it didn’t quite work when she broke that fourth wall to address the reader directly. Also, some of the commentary itself was a little biting, even about the potential reader. Little turns a reader off more from a work than when the author appears to think little of us.

I have been known on occasion to write poetry myself, so I understand the problems and pitfalls of that particular way of writing. Poetry is meant to be heightened language. With so few words, they must be crafted for precise intent. That that did not come across here. The language didn’t feel heightened at all. Save for the parts that rhyme, it felt like a Cliff’s Notes version of a bawdy take on Sense and Sensibility, except–of course–when she was talking about things that weren’t directly the story itself. The rhyming felt forced, and the short lines didn’t give much room for the verse to breathe.

If you want to check out some JAFF that’s a little different, I suggest looking at the first 10% to see if this would be your cup of tea. It wasn’t quite what I expected, so it wasn’t mine.

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