Saturday, January 19, 2008

Jane Austen Sees Us Through the Strike

Back to that in a minute...

In deference to Heather, perhaps my only reader and definitely the only one commenting of late, I will say that
Cloverfield kept me on the edge of my seat! I will not nit-pick the script nor the actors here (God, I'm jaded), but I want to know WhyTF it was called Cloverfield. Maybe it's a reference to a section of Manhattan? Maybe it's the reference to a military project? At any rate, it was scary a-plenty and worth getting the e-ticket.

Now to return to my theme...

I came to be a Jane Austen fan rather late. I mean, everyone has his or her favorite author. I spent a good deal of time in my younger days drenched in Poe, Plath, and a lot of forgetful sci-fi. Before that, it was Madeleine L'Engle, preceded by Laura Ingalls Wilder, preceded by Beatrix Potter. Austen seems like a full-circle landing to me. In my twenties, I was turned on to Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman's Dragonlance series, followed by Anne Rice. I was a lover of all things dark and macabre. Stephen King had me wrapped around his pinky until he published Misery. That was the first book that made me physically ill, but not the last. Try Anne Rice's Cry to Heaven, if you really want to get ill. I couldn't get past the opening chapter.

I always read a lot of popular novels (think bestseller lists) and later got into more and more non-fiction. After all, isn't that the food of the educated, modern mind? When I went back to college, though, I had to start reading some of the classics that I missed out on when I jumped off the academic track halfway through high school. Long, boring story there, but let's just say I didn't have a lot of hope that I would get any support to pursue that goal. It was then that I began to wander. Landing back in college when my oldest turned 18 made me ecstatic, scared, and immensely proud. I was back on track.

I started to go for a degree in Psychology, but I kept finding myself drawn to classes that required lots of reading (of the classics) and writing of critical essays. How weird am I? I still kept up the psych path (as opposed to the psychOpath) enough to keep getting lots of scientific thinking and reading in. The BioPsych class was fascinating, but I could never do research on animals. Never.

Eventually I was drawn back over to the verbal side of my brain. I decided to complete my degree in Communications, because I had moved from a network engineering job over to a technical writer job, writing about engineering. The degree seemed appropriate (and it is), but I also took lots of humanities courses and found a wonderful professor who has become a friend and mentor to me since then. She has been the reason I've stayed involved with the university and have become an integral part of our biannual poetry reading.

Enter Jane Austen. I decided that she was a girl I needed to read. Okay, mostly after Hollywood seemed to take such notice of her afresh. (I'm nerdy, but not too nerdy). I first chose Pride and Prejudice. Good start!

And eventually I rented the BBC production of the novel.


I wasn't much for Colin Firth in Bridget Jones' Diary, but maybe I just need to watch it again. Maybe I was in a Hugh Grant pre-hooker phase.

However....Colin Firth in P&P? Steamy. McSteamy.

Where can you get some of that? Every Sunday from now until April 6 @ 9 pm/EST on PBS' Masterpiece Theater. February 10 is when Mr. Firth marches across the screen in part 1 of 3 for P&P. I'll be in front of the TV with the dogs locked out. (It's hard to understand British accents when two bulldogs are roughhousing).

And that, my friends, is the news that greeted me on tonight when I got home from seeing Cloverfield and coming home in the freezing cold outside.

Shiver me timbers, indeed!

Peace - D


Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

Glad you liked Cloverfield! Did you see the thing I was talking about? At the end of the movie? Let me know!

Yeah, Jane Austen is pretty rockin' and Colin Firth is all creamy, crunchy, yumminess. I must agree. The P&P movie version with Keira Knightley wasn't bad, either.

Anonymous said...

Hugh Grant was caught with the hooker in 1995, and Bridget Jones' Diary wasn't released until six years later, so you can't have been in a Hugh Grant pre-hooker phase at that time. Unless you didn't find out about it until after 2001 ;-) Truth is, Daniel Cleaver was just so much better than the dull Mark Darcy!