Thursday, August 11, 2005

Corsets in Dorset

"Mr. Darcy stood up and crossed the room, it seemed, for no other reason than to walk back again."*

Yesterday, I saw some of Emma. Now, I may have only come in in the closing scenes, but I counted:

- 1 Dramatic Crossing of The Room
- 4 Thoughtful Wanders Through The Garden
- 2 Sudden Turnings of the Back
- 6 Meaningful Inclinations of The Head (2 to the left, 4 to the right)
- 1 Impassioned Clutching of Anothers Arm
- And a stunning 29 Heaving Bosoms!**

Add this to the English Country Garden-style scenery, and a cloyingly cliched musical score, which seemed to consist of a harpist plucking sylvan chords while a clarinet noodled away over the top and a string orchestra burbled away in the background.

Now, don't get me wrong. I like Jane Austen. And, when I say don't get me wrong, don't get me wrong; I may like Jane Austen, but I am amazingly uninterested in romantic fiction. It's just that Jane Austen takes the piss out of it so perfectly. But, really, what's so interesting about this version of Austen? I half expected the love interest, one John Knightley, to confess to Emma at the end of the film, "Tragically, I was gelded at birth."
It didn't happen.

Anyway, in my version of a Jane Austen, things would happen a bit differently:

- Emma Would Step in a Mud Puddle;
- Fanny Price and Maryanne Dashwood would indulge in indoor Lesbian antics;
- The Lady Catherine De Bourgh would die one day in church when a pipe organ fell on her;
- Elizabeth Bennett and Mr Darcy would JUST HAVE SEX ALREADY;
- Mr Knightley would wake up one morning to find that he had leprosy and his legs had fallen off;
- And Frank Churchill would steal a blunderbuss from the Woodhouses residence, become a highwayman, then later join up with Jonathan Wild.

And the music? I'd have the clarinet, harp, and violin combination replaced with Tuba, cymbals, and bagpipes. Just for fun.

*Just a paraphrase. I don't have my copy of Pride and Prejudice with me, so I can't check the quote. Incidentally, I got that copy at the bottom of a mildewed old box which I found in a back shed at my old flat in Annandale.

**That's at least one more than you'd expect!


Rachy said...


TimT said...

I think this post proves definitively that I have read WAY too much Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Sense and Sensibility, Northanger Abbey, and so on.

Jay said...

I'm all about Mr Darcy today!

Rachy said...

I never got into all of that, but I was obsessed with Wuthering Heights... same era... the precise depictions of the banality of human desire accompanied the background of the bleak English moors, hmmmmm

I know what I'm reading the moment I finish The Letters of Abelard and Héloise (my current page flipper)

Email: timhtrain - at -

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