We do live in a rather sordid era, in which we let everything hang out so much that I wonder whether we know what's fit for keeping in. We have so little reverence, or reticence. Almost nothing is sacred. I'm so accustomed to the tawdriness of our times -- if certainly not inured -- that I completely misread these lines at first, in an article search on JSTOR (Theories of the Novel Now):
Did Jane Austen have a period? Did she have periods? How would we know if she did?
My g-d, I thought. What's next? Did Jane Austen use a chamber pot? Well, yes, she did, and it's nobody's business! And then I realized that, mad as the contemporary world undoubtedly is, the article is actually about periodization -- which is probably as dry as it sounds, but at least not outrageous. Jane need not turn in her grave after all. Not this time. I had to smile at my own misunderstanding. But really 'Jane Austen's Periods': did nobody perceive the double meaning in that?