Pride and Prejudice and GRIT

| 4/29/2010 10:59:49 AM

"It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains.”

Pride and Predjudice and Zombies cover

Just as it is universally acknowledged that nearly everything written about Jane Austen must start with a variation of the opening line of Pride and Prejudice. I recently read the bestseller (and soon to be movie) Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, co-authored by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith. I found it a hilarious spin on a classic piece of English literature. It was not exactly a parody; Grahame-Smith didn’t totally rewrite Austen’s 19th century romance novel to suit the zombie plotline; approximately 85 percent of Austen’s original text remains. The addition of zombies is a sub-plot to the familiar beloved story of the Bennet sisters, now skilled in the deadly arts as zombie-slaying warriors. As overtly ridiculous as the premise sounds, it was pulled off with much of the same sometimes subtle, sometimes blatant sarcastic humor prevalent in all of Austen’s books.

I followed it up with Pride and Prejudice written by Jane Austen, and Austen alone, without the help of Grahame-Smith or zombies to add excitement to the book. I’ve always like Jane; those that don’t, vehemently deny the contents of her stories have much worth. I've read more than once that you either like her, or don't – there's really not much of an in-between. Often criticized for ignoring issues of worldly significance, she always stuck very close to home, and wrote about what she knew.

Some complain that nothing much happens in a Jane Austen novel. She grew up in a close-knit family in a small hamlet in southern England, and lived through the American and French Revolutions, and tumultuous period of disorder in the Napoleonic era. Her stories, though, contain not even a mention of the turbulence of those times. There are no political upheavals or secret plots to overthrow the government; neither can you expect to find action-packed chase scenes, murders, or blood and guts (except for the occasional dozen or so zombie slayings).

What you will find is a rich tapestry of life as Jane knew it. It is the excitement in the ordinary – the drama of everyday living. Her scenes are mostly rural, never venturing far beyond the tranquility of English village life. It was a life marked by the simplicity of time moving at a much slower pace than it does now – and the contentment and amusement found in such a life.

Cindy Murphy
5/10/2010 7:01:40 PM

Vickie! I've been wondering where you've ran off to - it's good to see you again. Hope you had a nice Mother's Day also.

5/8/2010 3:48:42 PM

Cindy, Your post gives me much to think about and the book sounds like it will be a great read. Can't wait to go to the library. Have a great mothers day vickie

Cindy Murphy
5/5/2010 9:54:17 AM

Michelle...I missed trying my hand at making dandelion crowns this spring. I too missed trying dandelion greens which are supposedly best in early spring before they flower, when the leaves are still young and tender; just something I've wanted to try for the heck of it - they're supposed to be very good and healthy too. The pretty yellow flowers are gone already - even the fluff has disappeared and the stems are standing there naked. Naked stalks, I don't think, would make a very pretty crown. Ah, well....I know there will be plenty more "crops" of dandelions this summer! Thanks, Pam, for stopping by. You're right, that's what makes this place so interesting - you never know what'll show up in people's blogs here, from biddies to snakes, to...zombies. I had to laugh at your "biddy" explanation. Shhhhh, don't tell, but I call some of the librarians here, the Library Biddies - though they aren't nearly as young as chicks, they do have a "fowl" disposition at times!

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