IN A WEEK full of meetings and school visits, it was the few hours which we spent at a secondary school in Pinar del Rio which seem to be at the forefront of my mind when anyone asks me about my recent visit to Cuba. On arrival and by way of greeting, we enjoy a series of joyful and vibrant dance performances. This seems, in our brief experience, to be the Cuban way.
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Contrary to an influential critical tradition that detaches Jane Austen and her style from the body, I argue that Persuasion (1817) represents the culmination of a style in which language is a physical agent, with force that comes from or acts on the body. Embodied language was always part of Austen's aesthetics, appearing in the juvenilia, when the movement of narrative creates the sensation of bodily motion, and in Emma (1815) through physical word games with children's alphabet blocks.