pride & prejudice

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Wednesday, February 01, 2006
by Jane Austen #2

What to say? It is pretty freaking fantastic and I can't believe I'd never read it before. It gave me a lot of things to think about, but honestly - it provided new things for me to ponder next time I am watching either of the more recent adaptations. A long time ago, when I first started reading this book and had just watched the latest movie version, I had this fantasy that I would write an epic post that would tie everything together and consolidate my thinking on the subject of all things P&P. I can tell you right now that IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. Maybe later. Maybe the internet shall be spared. (I had this whole bit about how funny it struck me in the latest movie when Darcy was stalking across the moors in his bathrobe, I mean coat - and how I thought in that instant (which was supposed to be the apotheosis of romance) that it would have been REALLY funny if they had played the Imperial Death March or some other Darth Vader swirly cape music instead. I think my brain is broken. I did like the movie quite a lot, though.)

Flirting With Pride & Prejudice: Fresh Perspectives on the Original Chick-Lit Masterpiece. Edited by Jennifer Crusie #3

I am womanfully trying to resist, but I cannot. I hate the term chick-lit. A lot. Not as much as I hate mysteries solved by cats who bake cupcakes, but it's right up there. I have read and enjoyed many books that fall under the chick-lit umbrella -- but what a stupidly named umbrella! Anyway, I felt like I had to get that out there.

This was an uneven collection of essays, but honestly most collections of essays are. At first I thought I disliked the ones that tried to set everything in the now, but then I realized that wasn't true. I disliked the ones that seemed like the author didn't have any care or affection for the work or characters being discussed. That being said, there were some really great/fun essays too. I had to take it back to the library, so in the spirit of celebrating the positive, I only wrote down the ones that I particularly enjoyed. There were no doubt some others that I liked that I missed as I flipped through one last time.

Jane Austen and the Masturbating Critic - by Adam Roberts Hee hee! This one is great. It is a dialogue between "Constance Reader" and "Professor Academicus" that addresses the ever present debate between people who like to read "for the story" and people who like to deconstruct and examine. I know there are lots of readers who enjoy both - and this is good for them too! both sides are presented fairly, I thought.

My Firth Love - by Lani Diane Rich One woman's tale of Adult Onset A&E Darcyitis in diary form. Very funny.

Georgiana - by Jane Espenson So Great! A story that gives some satisfying closure for poor plot-device Georgiana. (Jane also wrote a great regency-era comic for the Tales of the Slayer series)

Pride and Prejudice: The Reality Show - by Joyce Milman Ha! So funny! What makes this essay work for me, when others that try a similar modern touch do not, is that JM has a great handle on how those characters *would* react. Or at least I believe it when she tells it to me.

Charlotte's Side of the Story by Melissa Senate - a modern update of the Lizzy/ Charlotte relationship set in the publishing industry. It worked for me because she was sympathetic to Charlotte and offered a fair non-rose-colored-glasses look at Lizzy and still left me liking them both by the end.

The Evolution of Envy - by Aleisa Holliday - cute piece with the characters set in modern times. (in a book club I think. I wish hadn't had to take it back to the library!) Anyway, the voices struck me as being both modern and true to the original characters, which several of the other essays in this book did not manage as gracefully.

Jane and Me - by Karen Joy Fowler Who reads Jane, and why? KJF's personal story of how she came to Jane and reflections on reactions to Austen over the years.

I just found this review while looking for a picture, and I pretty much agree with all of it. (Including singling out the story Lord Byron and Miss A by Cheryl Sawyer, which was one of the ones I liked but neglected to write down.
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