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On 1 February, Abigail Nussbaum had some new Pride and Prejudice thoughts

Among them that Darcy is “an introvert desperately trying to tamp down [his] anxiety at being forced into company with so many strangers” when he brusquely declines to dance with Lizzie at their first meeting, not “a depressive who needs Lizzie to be his Prozac,” as a Guardian post I referred to on 30 January would have it.

Jessa Crispin, editor of the Bookslut site, has written a number of posts lately about depression and anxiety and about their being, in part, caused by our culture and, oops, our social media are rapidly making things worse. On 5 February, Ms. Crispin interviewed Ann Cvetkovich, author of Depression: A Public Feeling (Duke University Press, 2012). At one point in the interview, Dr. Cvetkovich said, “I do have a hunch that as someone whose experience of ‘clinical depression’ (although I resist that diagnosis) emerges from anxiety, I may belong to that class of people who don’t need the stimulant qualities of Prozac and is made more agitated by it.” So for her as for Darcy, Prozac would be exactly the wrong treatment. On 6 February, Ms. Crispin posted an excerpt from Depression. It has some thought-provoking things to say about writer’s block and about creative people in general. I’m slowly working through an e-version (which features headings at the bottom of pages and similar e-book idiocies) of the book—”slowly” because I find the verbosity and the obscure academic-ese (for example, thus-and-so being “essentialist”) less than an aid to rapid comprehension, but I am finding the publication valuable.

On 4 February, I talked briefly about Josephine Tey’s novel The Daughter of Time and Richard III. Dalhousie University English Professor Rohan Maitzen was more expansive than I here. (By dint of searching for Dr. Maitzen’s name on the Open Letters Monthly site, I discovered that her undated essay was posted on May 1, 2012.) Among her comments, she talks about “the reality of women’s marginalization in historical scholarship (as both writers and as historical agents) until well into the twentieth century—something that, again, I studied as an academic long after being exposed to its effects.”

On 1 February 2013, Dr. Maitzen had a conversation about Pride and Prejudice with Steve Donoghue entitled “We’ve Been with Lizzie All Along” on Open Letters Monthly. If you have time [or patience] to read only one P&P article of the two I’ve cited today, go with the Nussbaum at the top of the post.

On 18 January, Toronto SF writer Peter Watts posted a moving eulogy for his father, who’d died recently at the age of 94 having spent most of his long, decent life hiding being gay. Maybe one day I’ll get around to writing about my dad, who died in 2006 aged 79. In the latter part of his life, he was not happy at all (and for all of it, he was very insecure), but being secretly gay was not among the burdens he bore.

I followed writer John Scalzi’s lead and installed Stardock Start8 on my Windows 8 PC to make it easier to use, and it is, although still somewhat infuriating.