July 27, 2011

Jane Austen v. Taylor Swift?


Is Taylor Swift the Jane Austen of our day?

No, but this Daily Beast feature does a serviceable job of trying to suggest a connection between the two. The piece contends that Swift’s “lyrics seem to have gotten a little help from a literary predecessor,” and offers a quiz as evidence, asking readers to decide which line is Austen and which is Swift. To quote the first few entries:

A: “I want a guy who I can respect. Someone who’s got an idea of who he wants to be, knows what he wants and what he loves.”
B: “I have no notion of treating men with such respect. That’s the way to spoil them.”

A: “I may have lost my heart, but not my self-control.”
B: “This is surely not what you thought it would be. I lose myself in a daydream.”

A: “Indulge your imagination in every possible flight.”
B: “You find I’m even better than you imagined I would be.”

And the answers, in case they are needed:

A: Taylor Swift talking about love.
B: Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

A: Jane Austen, Emma
B: Taylor Swift, “Speak Now”

A: Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
B: Taylor Swift, “Sparks Fly”

More items here.

Kelly Burdick is the executive editor of Melville House.