"At a distance unassailed by his looks or his kindness, and safe from the perpetual irritation of knowing his heart, and striving to avoid his confidence, she should be able to reason herself into a properer state; she should be able to think of him as in London, and arranging everything there, without wretchedness."
A friend and I discussed Jane Austen today. He said he just couldn't understand why her novels are considered classics. He thought they were dull. I disagreed, but couldn't quite find the words for why he was wrong.
Hours later, I came across this quote from my least favourite Austen novel, Mansfield Park. I had scribbled it on the back of a train ticket because it struck me that all of the pain and heartbreak of hopelessly being in love had been summed up in just one sentence.