“You pierce my soul. I’m half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I’m too late. […] For you alone I think and plan.”
–Captain Wentworth, in the best-loved love-letter of all time in Jane Austen’s ‘Persuasion’.
Do you ever feel that you’re an anachronism? That you’d rather have been born in a time and place where romance was simpler and yet more complex than now? I get that whenever I watch or read period romances. Like I’ve been doing for the past few days. I started with ‘The Lizzie Bennet Diaries’, moved on to ‘Lost in Austen‘, then watched all the four episodes of BBC’s adaptation of ‘North and South’, got worm-holed (my friend V’s expression, I hope you don’t mind me borrowing, V!) into watching my favorite scenes of ‘Emma’ (Jonny Lee Miller playing the gorgeously correct Mr. Knightly), and rounded up by watching Ciaran Hind in ‘Persuasion’. And WOW! I just can’t ever get enough of historical romances in general and Jane Austen in particular.
Amanda Price, I totally empathize with you!
Lost in Austen (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
“Not a heartbeat will I forget.”
–Mr. Darcy, Lost in Austen
Anything I say or write is superfluous.
Filed under Books, Movies
“It is impossible that he should still love me, unless, by kicking him into the mantelpiece during our battle at Hunsford, I affected some severe change in his countenance.”
–Elizabeth Bennet, in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
(Elizabeth is wondering about the change she saw in Mr. Darcy when she met him at Pemberley.)
Written by Seth Grahame-Smith, ‘Pride and Prejudice and Zombies’ (from now on called PPZ) is a delightful take on Jane Austen’s incomparable novel. Although I have to admit, I had my doubts before reading the book; Pride and Prejudice (yes, I’m calling it PP from now on. It’s easier, dammit) is, after all, a favourite, and I’m not too tolerant when it comes to rip-offs.
PPZ, however, is a mashup. Not merely a satire, but something like a funny-horror alternate-universe version. I didn’t feel offended even once; the author doesn’t make fun of the novel, nor does he try to demean it. He just puts in ‘ultra-violent zombie mayhem’ into our beloved characters’ lives, and takes us along for this incredibly empowering ride!
Yes, empowering. Seeing Jane kick some zombie butt made up for all the times in PP when (I thought) she should have been more proactive.
It’s true that this was my first brush with a mashup, and the novelty might be a major reason why I liked this book. But I’ll still recommend Jane Austen lovers to give it a try.
1: flavored with vanilla
2: lacking distinction :plain, ordinary, conventional
I read a romance novel once, an ugly-duckling-turns-swan story. The heroine was advised by her best friend to stop being Vanilla (come to think of it, this was all in metaphor; the heroine was–predictably–eating vanilla ice cream at the time) and turn into Belgian chocolate or something equally exotic.
I have always been perplexed by this. What’s wrong with Vanilla?! Although, like all girl stereotypes, I love chocolate better. But Vanilla is great too! You can do so much with Vanilla ice cream. It goes with every kind of topping. You can pour hot chocolate fudge and nuts on it, or put some strawberry crush on it, or have it with fresh fruit of any kind, or put it on top of some hot chocolate brownie.. my mouth is already watering and I’ve not even mentioned mocha sauce yet. Vanilla extract is a necessity in almost all baked goodies. And my personal favorite–cold coffee. It’s just not complete without vanilla flavouring of some kind.
How then can we call Vanilla ordinary? Is being sociable an average trait? I don’t think so. Ask Mr. Darcy, if you’re still skeptical.
In fact, Vanilla has this amazing quality of being accepting of others. Moreover, when added to something, Vanilla turns the result into something greater and more wonderful than just the sum of its parts! That is exceptional, I think. (It is almost like Holism!)
That is what Vanilla is. Tolerant, open-minded. Methinks the world needs more Vanillas.
|Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy
The 1990’s six part TV miniseries ‘Pride and Prejudice’ starring Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle is the most faithful adaptation of the novel I have seen so far, and the best. My favorite, as of millions others.
This was my attempt to recreate that perfect face and the intensity on it as Mr. Darcy looks on while Elizabeth is playing with a dog.
Of course, you can’t really tell it’s supposed to be Colin Firth. Even though I cheated a bit, I couldn’t get a likeness.
However, Colin Firth looks absolutely, mind-boggingly gorgeous in this film. And in this scene, which is one of my favorites.
This movie/miniseries is doubly romantic because it has Colin Firth–perhaps the sexiest man alive at the time–playing Mr. Darcy, the most romantic hero ever!
Note: This post is a shout out to my friend Vandana, in response to one of her tweets. Also, I’d like to tell her that what women-around-the-globe truly desire isn’t just Mr. Darcy, but a man who is a combination of Mr. Darcy, Bingley and Wikham, and looks exactly like Colin Firth!
Tell me I’m wrong. Go on, tell me!
I have to confess, I find ebooks and my Kindle Reader app extremely convenient. All I have to do is keep my phone charged, and I can access tons of books anytime and anywhere. Well, they’d be a ton if I had hardbacks for all of them!
Having said that, I still carry my usual, on average, 2.5 books in my backpack for long trips. I can still spend hours in a bookstore (and do so at least once a month), and my library card is always maxed out. That is why for the WordPress poll, my vote went to ‘paperbacks’. However, I don’t really know why I love paperbacks more than ebooks. Probably I’m just a traditionalist and paperbacks remind me of all the great times I’ve had with books: laughing at Suppandi’s antics, having adventures on the Faraway Tree, solving crimes (actually, if I’m honest, ‘being perplexed by’ would be closer to the truth) with Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot and Dirk Gently, falling in love with Mr. Darcy and Robert Kincaid and all the various heroes of the gazillion romance novels I’ve read so far, Hitchhiking the Galaxy with Arthur Dent, and basically doing everything inside my imagination that I’ll possibly never do in real life.
Nostalgia. That’s what makes things precious.
What is it about getting a new hairstyle or buying a pair of absolutely unnecessary shoes that makes a girl’s day? Whether we are sad or happy, miserable or contented; shopping somehow always turns the world into a better place to live.
Some people would say that the female anatomy comes with a built-in craving for buying things. Others would say that women just like shopping, period. We do, of course. But as for everything else that we do and believe in, we have a deep and meaningful reason for this too.
And the reason is this. Doesn’t matter if we own a hundred things, there’s always scope for more. And needless to say, they are all required desperately!
It’s not only the buying that’s irresistible, ladies love window shopping as much as actual shopping. I’m certain that has something to do with the aesthetic aspect of it. Just looking at beautiful things is a treat; Art for Art’s sake! It’s the same contented, romantic, thrilling, hopeful feeling you get when you witness a magical sunset or a look at vibrant painting by Van Gough or watch Colin Firth being Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice.
I’m sure that if scientists were to conduct a study (and there’s a great probability it has already been done), they’ll find that going on a shopping spree releases endorphins in the female brain or something very similar.
But at the end of the day, a girl just wants to feel beautiful. And beauty is in the eyes of the beholden rather than the beholder, I say. All we need is to feel like a diva to look like one. That’s the only thing the flattering hairstyle or the new pink shirt or the hot pair of stilettos does–it makes us love ourselves, and that is what gets the world to sit up and notice!