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Re: Sense and Silliness: All things Austen

PostPosted: Jul 14, 2014 1:29 pm
by Pattertwigs Pal
Meltintalle wrote:And I want to see the black and white one too.

Sounds like a plan, if we can track down a copy. My library doesn't appear to have it. :P Maybe I'll be able to determine if it is the version I saw.

I finished listening to Pride and Prejudice and have started on Sense and Sensibility. I'm reading Persuasion.

Austen's stories features couples that are not suited for each other. She also has parents who are not the best. Other than couples that Austen sets up, ex. Lizzie and Darcy, can you think of examples of well matched couples? What about good parents?

Re: Sense and Silliness: All things Austen

PostPosted: Jul 14, 2014 2:37 pm
by Meltintalle
Twigs wrote:Sounds like a plan, if we can track down a copy. My library doesn't appear to have it. :P

My library does! Would you like DVD or VHS? :)

Twigs wrote: can you think of examples of well matched couples? What about good parents?
Off the top of my head, I think Anne's sister in Persuasion was happily married... and Catherine's parents in Northanger Abby. But I have no supporting evidence for this.

Re: Sense and Silliness: All things Austen

PostPosted: Jul 17, 2014 1:37 pm
by 220chrisTian
Pattertwig: good observation on mismatched parents! I never noticed that before. :P The most obvious and famous mismatch is the Bennets in Pride and Prejudice. Meltintalle: I distinctly remember Catherine's parents not having much in common and pretty much letting their children run wild. :-s

Re: Sense and Silliness: All things Austen

PostPosted: Jul 18, 2014 8:19 am
by Meltintalle
It's been ages since I read NA, 220, so I defer to your memory on Catherine's parents. However, did they really let their kids run wild so much as give them leave to make and learn from their mistakes? Catherine seems to have a decent grounding, despite her fascination with gothic novels that drive her to some of her sillier moments.

I should reread the book, but P&P is a priority at the moment. ;))

Re: Sense and Silliness: All things Austen

PostPosted: Jul 19, 2014 11:41 am
by 220chrisTian
Meltintalle: Austen (or the narrator) complained in the first few chapters about the parents' letting their kids run wild - physically, intellectually, spiritually, socially, etc. Catherine and her siblings were given no real instruction about making it in life. That's why her guardians and the Tilneys were so important to her non-academic education. I don't think Catherine had much of a decent grounding at all before going to Bath. :-s

Re: Sense and Silliness: All things Austen

PostPosted: Jul 28, 2014 11:10 am
by 220chrisTian
I started reading a book yesterday by Nancy Moser called Just Jane (2007), a first-person bio-novel of Jane Austen. It’s pretty good. The novel opens in 1795, when Jane is twenty. I learned that her first cousin Eliza married a French landowner, who was guillotined in 1793. Three of Jane’s brothers also served in the British military in the 1790s, and during the Napoleonic wars.

Does anyone else like Mansfield Park? I read half and quit. The novel seems boring compared to Pride and Prejudice, Persuasion, and Northanger Abbey, all of which I loved. I haven’t read Sense and Sensibility and Emma yet.

"At age four and twenty I find my life distressingly devoid of measurable accomplishment.
I am not married.
I have no home of my own.
I have no children.
I write novel after novel…
But to what avail? Beyond family … who cares? Will anyone ever care? Will anyone ever hold a book by Jane Austen in their hands?"
~ Nancy Moser, Just Jane, p. 103

Except that I’m 34, I can say the same things about myself! Since 2008, I’ve been writing article after article on my website and blogs. I’ve never published a book. Will I do so one day? :-s

Re: Sense and Silliness: All things Austen

PostPosted: Aug 01, 2014 11:11 am
by 220chrisTian
I finished Just Jane this morning, but I don’t recommend it. The voice of this autobiographical novel isn’t Jane Austen; sometimes her character seems too modern and selfish. I hope the real Jane wasn’t like this person. I’ll stick with her novels and letters, plus good biographies. :(

Re: Sense and Silliness: All things Austen

PostPosted: Aug 01, 2014 11:36 am
by shastastwin
I'm reading Sense and Sensibility right now and I'm actually finding that having seen, not understood, and forgotten the Emma Thompson movie has made things worse. ;)) I keep trying to remember who played which character and how I felt about them, which isn't very successful even with the help of IMDB. 8-|

Anyway, I'm finding that it isn't quite as enjoyable as I remember P&P being when I was in high school. Granted, I read it fresh from seeing the Keira Knightley film, which I enjoyed a great deal, so I was already fairly biased in favor of the story.

I have reached the end of Volume I (chapter 22) and have just now begun to get truly interested. The back and forth over the characters' love interests isn't as easy for me to ignore and "ship" the ones I want together. However, Lucy Steele's introduction and the ensuing drama have made me pay a bit more attention to the book. I'm still not certain who I would ship at this point, but I am at least more interested in the goings on now.

Re: Sense and Silliness: All things Austen

PostPosted: Aug 02, 2014 1:37 pm
by 220chrisTian
Having seen two versions of S&S, I definitely prefer the BBC one. I thought the casting and cinematography better, more suited to the plot and characters. I just might read it this weekend. Yes, it's hard to keep up with who is who!

I've read P&P 3 times. I've also seen the Keira Knightley adaptation at least twice, the Colin Firth one even more often. So the plot and characters are very easy for me to follow. I feel like I know these people. :)

I finished reading Lady Susan this morning. After a few letters, I was ready to quit. Lady Susan’s thoughts on women’s education made me continue, plus the introduction of poor Reginald. I still don’t like the epistolary style. Unlike a narrative it doesn’t give a reader respite, due to its intense concentration. S&S began as an epistolary novel, but Jane changed it. I wish she’d done the same with Lady Susan. I also can’t believe that Jane created someone so wicked. Did she meet such people in Bath? I’m sure she wrote the novel there.

Lady Susan is being adapted into a feature film, called Love and Friendship. But there's no information on IMDb yet.

Has anyone seen this 2013 documentary on Lady Susan?

Re: Sense and Silliness: All things Austen

PostPosted: Aug 04, 2014 12:38 pm
by 220chrisTian
I began Sense and Sensibility on Saturday and finished it this afternoon. The novel is not as well written as Pride and Prejudice, which is almost perfect in plotting, characters, and style. But the trade-off is a strong sense of unreality. S&S is different. The story and characters are earthy and real. I feel Elinor and Marianne’s pain, but I never felt that of Jane and Elizabeth. Maybe I love P&P with my head and S&S (like Persuasion) with my heart. :)

I also used to think Willoughby was a rogue, but now I see that he’s a better man than Wickham because he never means to deceive and loves Marianne in his own selfish way. Wickham, however, loves only himself. /:)

I can't wait to watch S&S again, and read some fan fiction. ;;)

Re: Sense and Silliness: All things Austen

PostPosted: Aug 10, 2014 10:36 am
by Princess Frances
it's a sad fact, that, to survive in Regency England, most women had to be less like Lizzie Bennet and more like Caroline Bingley.

Re: Sense and Silliness: All things Austen

PostPosted: Aug 11, 2014 11:17 am
by 220chrisTian
Princess Frances: very insightful. :( I published an article on my new arts and culture blog last week about "rich men" and Mrs. Bennet's world. It was on Yahoo Voices initially, but that website is disappearing this month so I had to transfer everything.

http://artsandculturereviews.wordpress. ... rs-bennet/

Meltintalle recommended some excellent fan fiction to me. Check out "A Constant Love," a 57-chapter sequel to P&P. It's the best Austen sequel I've ever read, far surpassing Desire and Duty. :) ... 00A31URJK/

Re: Sense and Silliness: All things Austen

PostPosted: Aug 11, 2014 12:30 pm
by Arwenel
I find it interesting so many people here liked the 2005 adaption of Pride and Prejudice. I couldn't stand it.

While my favorite adaption is the 1995, the Lizzie Bennet Diaries was a very good modern adaption. I've seen clips of the 1940 and 1980 versions; parts of the 1940 version were hilarious, though not particularly book-like, and the acting/casting from the 1980 did not appeal to me in the slightest.

Emma Approved -- it's okay, but definitely not as good as LBD. I'm curious to see what the company is going to do next, though. More Jane Austen or are they going to cast their net a little wider?

Re: Sense and Silliness: All things Austen

PostPosted: Aug 13, 2014 12:25 pm
by 220chrisTian
Arwenel: I also like the 1995 version of P&P best, partly because I saw it first (as a teenager). But it would take a blog article to explain my preference. I once thought the 2005 version superfluous, but I did like it on a second viewing. The 1940 version was humorous enough. I haven't seen any other adaptation, or the Lizzie Bennet Diaries.

I’ve been reading P&P sequels all week. “A Constant Love” is now my favorite. It’s so well written – plots, characters, and settings. The story begins in March 1814, after the double weddings. It includes London seasons, the Corn Bill, Napoleon’s Hundred Days, and Waterloo. Its sequel, “A Change of Seasons,” is set in 1815 Pemberley and Paris. These stories are grounded in historical reality. They felt so real that I thought I'd gone back 200 years and was watching these people just live their lives. I also recommend the fan fiction below. [I'm VERY picky.] :) ... rs/1686161

At Meltintalle’s suggestion, I started reading Death Comes to Pemberley (2011). I haven’t seen the BBC adaptation (2013), but the book and trailer seem so morbid. [The adaptation has terrible casting too.] Yes, it’s a murder mystery, but the Sherlock Holmes stories have more life! Jane Austen’s novels and all the P&P sequels I recommend are bursting with life. Death reeks with death, even before the murder is discovered. I may not finish this book. If anyone insists on adapting another P&P sequel, he or she must read “A Constant Love.” /:)

Re: Sense and Silliness: All things Austen

PostPosted: Aug 14, 2014 8:13 am
by Meltintalle
Thanks for the info on Death Comes to Pemberly, 220. I didn't know it was a murder mystery. How interesting when people try to mix genres with Jane Austen characters...

I'm currently rereading Pride and Prejudice in anticipation of seeing the 1940's version. Maybe it's just because I just saw the 2005 version but I'm appreciating the film a bit more now. One of my complaints about 2005 is how rushed it feels, despite managing to capture the droll humor of some of the characters--but the book itself is galloping on from plot point to plot point with little introspection. I'm half-tempted to wonder if I accidentally picked up an abridged version or if reading on my phone just gives it a very different 'feel' than paper and ink. :p

Re: Sense and Silliness: All things Austen

PostPosted: Aug 14, 2014 12:27 pm
by 220chrisTian
Mel: you're welcome. I've now read 70% of Death Comes to Pemberley. I don't mind the murder mystery aspect, since I've read the Holmes canon (and there's a thread on him here, if you haven't already visited it ;) ). My problem is that this book fails as both a (1) P&P sequel and a (2) murder mystery.

1. The author puts speeches in the characters' mouths, but they don't seem authentic. It's like she's moving puppets on a stage. Austen's novels and the better fan-made sequels aren't like that. The characters live.
2. I kept asking myself questions with each new clue, but the main characters and police never followed them up. I got as far as a deathbed confession before I quit reading, which felt like a deux es machina. It was ridiculous.

1940: although it left out subplots and changed the ending somewhat, I liked that the film was humorous. It ended on an encouraging note for the Bennets and Lady Catherine. Unlike the book, the final scenes had little angst.

2005: I'm surprised it followed the book, since it was so short (compared to the 4.5-hour 1995 film). This film did feel a little rushed, but it's not why I prefer the 1995 version. The latter is better in casting and tone (which should be neoclassical rather than romantic).