29 December 2009

Jane Jane Jane

Whether or not you read Jane Austen, this blog post provides an excellent analysis of what has happened to not only the modern novel, but most especially the plight of the modern novel once it reaches "public domain" status. He also makes a point about how Austen's novels (like Pride and Prejudice) have been turned into brands and are enjoyed for the brand status, rather than as an enjoyable story that is written exceedingly well.

But with the possible exception of the New Testament, no other seminal text has been so greedily trawled for evidence of the reader’s own transcendent superiority. Pride and Prejudice is the kind of book certain people make a point of visibly carrying with them in public, exhibiting it like a designer label. Or a weapon.

Seriously, I couldn't have said it better myself. Go read the post. The first half is the analysis, the second half is a summary/commentary on P&P itself.

Bingley bravely urges him on, pointing out that Elizabeth Bennet is both very pretty and at present without a partner. Darcy looks over to where Lizzy is seated, and either not knowing or not caring that she can easily overhear him, declares:

“She is tolerable; but not handsome enough to tempt me; and I am in no humour at present to give consequence to young ladies who are slighted by other men.”

So here’s my message of good will to all those aggrieved single women, smoldering with affronted self-esteem, who go angrily about their lives carrying tote bags that read AN ELIZABETH IN A DARCY-LESS WORLD: Ladies, I can help you! I know for a fact that there are very, very many men who would be only too happy to step reluctantly into your life, offend all your friends en masse, and then insult you in particular. You just say the word, I’ll have a whole rugby team of Darcys at your doorstep.

But then, I’m willing to bet these women meet such men all the time. And I’m guessing that they, like Lizzy, don’t recognize a potential Great Romantic Hero in any of them; or maybe they do, and that’s the point. They don’t want a potential romantic hero; they want one who’s already fully fitted out and ready to drive off the showroom floor. God forbid they should have to do any of the body work themselves. Or that, like Lizzy, they’d have to recognize some of their own failings into the bargain. What, are you fuggin’ kidding me…?

BWAHAHAHAA!! THANK YOU!! Seriously, those types of girls are just as bad, if not worse, then the girls who are obsessed with Twilight and think that is quality literature.

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