The more I know of the world, the more I am convinced that I shall never see a man whom I can really love. I require so much! – Jane Austen.
That quote by Jane Austen was the THOUGHT OF THE DAY recently on the home page of Refdesk.com, a reference source that in my untutored opinion is one of the best reference sources available online. Try it—you’ll like it!
The writer died young at the age of 41 and garnered little fame during her lifetime. However, posthumous publications of her work established her as a major contributor to the world of literature. Austen never married but received a proposal for marriage, one that she accepted but then she withdrew her acceptance the following day. Her answer to a request for advice from a niece was this: Anything is to be preferred or endured rather than marrying without affection. Click here for a biography of Jane Austen provided by Wikipedia.
And now for my unprofessional and unlettered analysis of Jane Austen’s statement shown above. In a Herculean effort to understand it, I viewed the quote in physical rather than metaphysical terms and I may have perhaps unlocked her secret, that part of her that caused her to formulate the statement. The answer lies in her plaintive statement that I require so much!
I believed it first to be a mental or psychological aberration, and of course it may have been, but it perhaps could have referred to a physical flaw, albeit still an aberration. The psychological aberration refers, of course, to a person that has an inexhaustible need for sex, a condition termed by professional psychologists, psychiatrists, sexologists and to a lesser extent by the common man, an insatiable libido, a medical condition, a need for sex that can never be satisfied and makes life unbearable for those suffering from such a condition—yeah, right!
Now please don’t misunderstand me when I approach her comment from a different slant, so to speak, and postulate a condition somewhat different than an insatiable libido. Perhaps when Jane Austen said I require so much, she meant that her physical makeup includes a corporeal void rather than psychological, an area so large that she felt that it could not be filled by any man. One cannot help but wonder if she ever submitted to a trial effort. Or perhaps she was tremendously promiscuous and through trial and effort concluded that it was hopeless. She was engaged for a very brief period, less than 24 hours—she agreed to a proposal for marriage but retracted her agreement the following day. And a growing school of today’s scholars are exploring the possibility that Jane Austen may have been homosexual—some believe that her love for her sister kept her unmarried and uninvolved.
I know, I know—I’m being naughty but I can’t help it—it’s my nature, it’s in my genes. I cannot resist seeking out and elaborating on double entendres, no more than a squirrel can resist storing up nuts for the winter, or a dog resist barking, a cat resist meowing, a mule resist braying or a cow resist mooing—their natures demand those actions. They are involuntary, just as are my evaluations and explanations of double entendres. I suppose I should apologize, but my nature also precludes apologies. Besides, all things are possible, so the possibility exists that I am right in this instance—concerning the void, not Jane Austen’s love for her sister.
Postscript: Biographers of Jane Austen differ on the cause of her death, but at least one researcher, Katherine White of Britain’s Disease Self Help Group, suggests that Austen died of bovine tuberculosis, a disease associated with drinking unpasteurized milk. And that calls for a posting dealing with that subject.
Stay tuned—I’ll conjure up images from my childhood far back in the past century, shrouded in the mists of time but still quite vivid in my memories, and I’ll get back to you later with the intricate details of making butter the old-fashioned way, and I’ll tell you up front that today’s way is far better.