While doing research on a recent assignment, I realised my obsession with Austen and JAFF was natural and just! My desire at times (okay lets be honest, all the time) to ignore all else and get lost in a world that mainly consists (for me) of Darcy and Elizabeth is apparently, according to Freud, my id mounting an all out war on my ego, while my super ego looks on with a jaw dropping expression. So, you ask, what has the id, ego and super ego got to do with my obsession? Well I will explain (as you may need it in court when people get fed up of your obsession!!).
The id is the impulsive part of our psyche, it demands immediate satisfaction in gaining pleasure (I need to read this book now!!). Anything less will only result in pain and the id does not want to experience pain. The id is unaffected by logic or the reality of the world! It is only focused on its goal for pleasure (Me while I am reading).
The ego mediates between the unrealistic id and the external world. The ego would also like pleasure but seeks to achieve it in a realistic, rational manner. (Well I can tell you now, my ego is having little success in any anything remotely rational when it pertains to Austen!).
The super ego is our conscience, it tries to reign in the id's urges by manipulating the ego into adhering to societies morals and values, it does this by engendering feelings, such as guilt. (I do feel guilty! I do! I do! But the pleasure that is derived from reading anything Austen or Austen related far outweighs any guilt! Yet ignoring feelings of guilt can only lead to tragedy right?! or then again, another book!!)
" The innocence of such fancy comes to an end, when in pursuit of our daydreams we calmly ignore or blithely manipulate, accidentally damage, or consider as non-existent, some of the people dearest to us " - E.Erikson
In other words while daydreaming constantly about the book your reading or the one you've just read, your super ego (your conscience) is reminding you to get back to reality. While you indulge in yet another 'what if' your super ego is screaming "you should be starting dinner". When you just want to be left in peace to read your book, feelings of guilt start to surface, annoyingly reminding you that you have responsibilities!
Yet all the while your id is urging you to be selfish, "do what you want, go ahead, read another 'what if.' Yes if it's a good one you'll be up till the early hours, most certainly rendering you unfit for the day ahead, but who cares". The super ego screams "are you out of your mind!" While the id shouts back "have you read the blurb! surely my friend, it is you who is out of your mind!!!."
So do I dare ask, how far is your id driving your obsession?
Did you just miss out on an ebay item, because you decided to have a quick read on one of the many Austeneque blogs, while waiting for the clock to tick down?
Does your cooking apron read "I'd rather be reading Pride and Prejudice"? All jokes aside your deadly serious!
Do you find your often not in the moment? Is your attention distracted not because your texting but because your reading JAFF on a forum or reading on your kindle phone app?
Do you have Darcy's proposal framed on your windowsill?
|Proposal is typed on a page from P&P, available from thebookishlife on Etsy (my own frame)|
When your reading preference is made known and people roll their eyes, are you embarrassed? Or have you started to look down on them, pitting those that are ignorant of Austen or JAFF; proud and conceited in being part of the privileged few that are in this exclusive club? (I know, it is no way to act, but any slight to dear Jane must surely warrant such behaviour)
Is your wardrobe slowly changing, are you buying more period inspired clothing? Heck lets get real, are you walking around in riding boots and a tweed jacket? Yet you do not ride! (Does a donkey ride age 10, on the beach in Morecombe count?)
Are you losing sleep hooked on JAFF books that you cannot, for the life of you put down. Forgetting yourself, as you laugh out loud at 5am at some silly remark the Colonels just made, hoping you haven't awoken the whole household or the street for that matter?
Do you deliberately hold off reading some JAFF because you know that once you start there will be no stopping you? Okay I grant you there was no point in asking that question, Mr Darcy's "in vain I have struggled" certainly comes to mind.
Do you have Keep Calm and Find Mr Darcy on your phone case?
Are you annoyed that considering how far the scientific community has come, no one has created time travel yet! (Damn it! You can get a man to the moon but you can't get me back to the Regency era!!!)
Do you scout the newspapers hoping to find a job advertisement that says "read Austen and JAFF and get paid"?
Do you buy hard copies of your favourite Austen & JAFF? Not only for the pleasure of seeing it on your book case, but in truth as back up should your kindles stop working (you have two), the internet goes down or your phone crashes?
Are everyday pleasures starting to pale in comparison?
If you have
to all or any of the above fear not, Sigmund Freud
says it is only "NATURAL and JUST"
oh sorry that was DARCY was it not!!!!!
I would love to hear your thoughts or any other signs you care to impart, that confirm just how obsessed you are!