Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Sorrows of Middle-Aged Matchmakers

Day 246 of the "What are you reading, and why?" project, and Sarah is halfway through Emma, by Jane Austen, because she is on an Austen kick, as are many, many people, still, with this perennial favorite among readers.  Just today a young woman came into Babbitt's looking for "classics," meaning Jane Austen.

In addition, a gentle young man was made happy discovering other classics, and how cheap they were, and walked away, for example, with The Sorrows of Young Werther, by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

I am now a bit worried about the gentle young man, as I have reminded myself of the plot of Young Werther via Wikipedia.  Aauughh, suicidal romantic youth.

It is an epistolary and autobiographical novel, although Goethe himself survived.  The book made him very famous, everybody loved and read it, the author later distanced himself from it, and that'll teach you to write about unrequited love and to write to your beloved and ask for pistols.  That is, don't!

Oh, gentle young man, maybe have the satirical Joys of Young Werther, by Friedrich Nicolai, on hand as an antidote.

Or Emma, by Jane Austen, about a sort of clueless matchmaker.  (Hence, Clueless, the film with Alicia Silverstone.)  And possibly an inspiration for The Matchmaker, by Thornton Wilder, revised from his own earlier version, The Merchant of Yonkers, with The Matchmaker then leading to Hello, Dolly, which I watched half of last night before falling asleep.

Then I woke up and attempted a little crazy middle-aged matchmaking in the fantasyland of my own clueless head.  And by email.  Please, please forgive me.  If you do, I promise not to turn my life into an epistolary musical.

1 comment:

Kathleen said...

Ah, I see that I can't punctuate Hello, Dolly! in the list of labels for this post, as ! is a total no-no and , splits up the words.