After many readings I can’t fi…

After many readings I can’t figure out what ‘taste’ means in Jane Austen’s novels. It affects performance quality though. Anybody know?

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Chrysoula

I used to be at attractmode.net, but flakiness is one of my primary traits, and the domain expired. Apparently it was popular enough to be snatched up!

3 thoughts on “After many readings I can’t fi…”

  1. Except it’s used to describe performances, not just choices, including performances of stuff they didn’t choose.

  2. That’s more like the first meaning, I think. I’m not sure what quote in particular you’re thinking of, but consider

    “After a song or two, and before she could reply to the entreaties of several that she would sing again, she was eagerly succeeded at the instrument by her sister Mary, who having, in consequence of being the only plain one in the family, worked hard for knowledge and accomplishments, was always impatient for display.

    Mary had neither genius nor taste; and though vanity had given her application, it had given her likewise a pedantic air and conceited manner, which would have injured a higher degree of excellence than she had reached. Elizabeth, easy and unaffected, had been listened to with much more pleasure, though not playing half so well”

    This basically lists three separate components: genius, taste, and application. My read of this is that “application” here means “practices hard”, “genius” means “has a natural flair for performing the work”, and “taste” means “is able to distinguish the *product* as being good or bad, including things that she produces herself as well as things that other people produces”.

    The implication to me is that Elizabeth has applied herself less but has better taste, which enables her to produce a better product because she knows her own limitations; Mary misestimates how good her playing is, so she tries things that are beyond her skill and sounds bad.

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