For such a little book, “Persuasion” has endless layers. Social commentary and satire, pre-Victorian gender dynamics, class mobility, and a host of others.
But gendered interactions aren’t what I’m going to remember about “Persuasion.” What I’m going to remember are the descriptions of the human heart. The feeling of your heart tearing out, just when you think you’re going to see him again soon. The desperate need to convince yourself that you’ve moved on, that you’ve forgotten. The words running through your head, the rationalizations, even as you feel like you can’t breathe. The infuriating and inescapable fact of your inability to think about anything else, to focus on any conversation, when he’s in the room.
People say things like “the past is a foreign country,” but sometimes that’s not true. Love is something that doesn’t change as much as we might think. Our hearts are the same across the centuries. Our pains and our joys do not change.