Finally Prided and Prejudiced
I picked up Pride and Prejudice for the first time a couple of Saturdays ago, when a visiting friend and Jonathan and I strolled by a used book shop in downtown Lodi. Pathetic for an English major, maybe, but I even did a report on Jane Austen in high school and still never read the book. I think I was put off by its popularity. I'm amazed when I go to the bookshop or the Netflix website and see fifty variations on Jane Austen's best-selling title like the Bollywood version "Bride and Prejudice," a movie about a Jane Austen book club, books made up of Elizabeth's imagined correspondence from Pemberley, books about Jane Austen lovers who take Jane Austen tours in England, and sadly even a vampire take on the Lizzy-Darcy saga, and on and on and on (Does Twilight have to take a bite out of everything?)
I'm on page 186 now, but Austen had me at 1. I finally get it.
And I'm so happy to report that the obsessions aren't overrated! Part of me wonders if it's so easy to get caught up in it because I've seen two movie versions. I watched the updated, shorter one with Keira Knightly when it came out, and I watched the 6 hour BBC production with my English friend's mom in her Cambridgeshire living room when the rest of the house had gone to bed. And of course the book is even better. Having seen the movies, it's easier for me to picture the scenery, but I am so loving the understated sarcasm and the intelligent critique of the culture and society of the time... and with the exception of the language that's maybe just a bit more flowery than ours, it's timeless.
Here's a few favorite quotes so far:
"what delight! what felicity! You give me fresh life and vigour. Adieu to disappointment and spleen. What are men to rocks and mountains?" - on being invited for an excursion to The Lakes
Upon the whole, therefore, she found, what has been sometimes found before, that an event to which she had looked forward with impatient desire, did not in taking place, bring all the satisfaction she had promised herself. It was consequently necessary to name some other period for the commencement of actual felicity; to have some other point on which her wishes and hopes might be fixed, and by again enjoying the pleasure of anticipation, console herself for the present, and prepare for another disappointment.
"But surely," said she, "I may enter his county with impunity, and rob it of a few petrified spars without his perceiving me." - on visiting Pemberley for the first time