Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Pride And My Prejudice Of It All

Good Morning Flower!

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a Jane Austen fan is a rabid fan. I am such a fan. I love Aunt Jane. The novels are as much of a delight to me now 30 years after I first read them as they were in their fresh flower of discovery. I've listened to them all on audio many times and by many different readers. I've seen all the movies, the miniseries, any adaptations that have come down the pike have found themselves before me. I will admit to not actively taking part in all the Austen fan fiction both published and web based. I have no problem with a writer imagining what the children Elizabeth Darcy might be like but for me since these novels are not written by Jane or even in the 19Th century and I do have other writers that I want to read, I'll take a pass and wish them well.

Can you feel the coming but?

It is so coming. Flower you know me. I don't want to be a hater or a naysayer. I seek to applaud creativity, vision, hard work, the effort of the mind to entertain. But Holy Cow I have to ask why is it that the one joke non-wonder that is "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" has sold so well?


--There's the Jane fan herself hungry for another version of The Story who buys one.
--There's someone buying it for the Jane fan, "Oh my gosh! She will crack up when I give this to her!" (That's how I got 4 copies of it.)
--There's the fan of Zombie fiction.
--There's the family and friends of the author.
--There's the jealous co-worker of the author.
--There's the wanna be author who is sure that this is a plagiarized version of his magnum opus.
--There's that guy's lawyer.
--Then... ? Who else is there?

I'm glad for the sake of the author, publisher and booksellers that P&P&Z has been successful. It's successful enough to be available in several editions. I wish success for all, but... I don't get it. I was gifted it (many times) and intrigued enough by the attention its received to try it as far as page 98 and then I was done. It's a way, way too long "Onion" story. As I was reading it I was picturing the author filling in his "Mad Libs" version of Pride and Prejudice and having all sorts of fun making all his nouns Zombie or blood and all his verbs kill and alarm. For me it was a bore. Once I read the first chapter I knew all and the joke was over.

Oh well. If there's a movie of it will I see it? Jane Austen meets "28 Days Later"? Um....there is the Austen lure, but no.

Are you dying to know a few of my favorite Pride and Prejudice things?

Fav movie adaptation of P&P?
--1940 version with Greer Garson and Laurence Olivier.
--Greer Garson is charm.
--The supporting cast know their business and are fabulous. Edna May Oliver and Mary Boland I wish you each had made 30 more movies.
-- The costume designer completely abandoned the look of period and dressed everyone in an early Victorian style. That is so much more flattering that the look of 1812. Who but a 10 year old or a bulimic looks good in that Empire style of dress?
--The same goes for the hairdresser, except for the bulimic part

Fav Elizabeth Bennett?
-- It's a total tie between Greer and Jennifer Ehle who are so talented and able to close their lips when not speaking.

Fav Mr Darcy?
-- Matthew MacFayden. All others are too hammy and pouty.

Fav Audio of P&P?
--Glenda Jackson is the reader and it was put out years ago by Dove Audio. She's so wonderful that I love it even though it's an adaptation! I don't think it's available new any longer.

Fav book cover?
--This one is always in flux. The copy of P&P that I have held onto is an old out of print Oxford hardcover addition that my old bookstore got as a remainder years ago. I don't have am image of it for you, sorry. It's very plain with wonderful lettering over muted pastel stripes.
However, if you'd like to see a wonderful unpublished jacket for P&P that was done as a graduate project and hits all the right points without being the usual romantic portrait of 1 or 2 women that generally graces most Austen books, then go look here:


P.S. Happy Father's Day to MB!

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