Wednesday, October 5, 2011

What Would Jane Austen Do?


Maybe I'm more of a Janeite than I realized, because whenever something in modern literature starts to annoy me, I ask myself, "What if Jane Austen were living today? How would [insert annoying trend here] affect her books?"

Take series, for example. It's getting out of control, people! Do stand-alone books even exist anymore?! Is there any reason beyond trying to make me buy more books that you've decided to stretch out this story over fourteen 500-page volumes? I think we both know there isn't.

As I was telling Colette from A Buckeye Girl Reads the other night, if Pride & Prejudice was written today, it'd be a 10-book series and would go something like this:
  • Book one, Darcy and Lizzie don't like each other, then fall in love.
  • Book two, Georgiana's volume! She falls in love with the broody next door neighbor she's never liked. There's sex in this one because some people complained.
  • Book three, Kitty's volume! She falls in love with an officer who rubs her the wrong way at the outset--until he rubs her right. heh
  • Book four, Colonel Fitzwilliam! He's always been sweet on a girl he knows in London, even though she hates him.
  • Book five, Mary's volume! She meets a roguish rake that she heartily disapproves of, and vice versa; but after his friends bet him that he can't convince Mary to "dance" with him, roguish rake sets out to woo her and falls in love after she gets a make-over.
  • Book six, the return of Wacky Wickham! After therapy, Wickham decides to stop drinking and joins the Quakers, where he falls in love with a virginal miss who instantly dislikes him. Fortunately Lydia has fallen into the pit of convenient plot devices.
  • Book seven, Caroline Bingly! Will her pride prevent her from seeing that a man below her station is in love with her? Or more to the point, will it stop her from caring?
  • Book eight, we're running out of characters! Miss Anne de Bourgh! She meets someone her mother really likes but she doesn't! But then it turns out he's not that bad after all! And he's the first person she's ever had an opinion about.
  • Book nine, Charlotte! Mr. Collins kicks the bucket by walking into a tree in Rosings Park and Charlotte runs away with a smuggler! Whom she doesn't like, until they have sex.
  • Book ten, there has to be some character left to hook up. Oh, hey, Mrs. Philips! She decides to travel the world and marries an Italian whom she at first didn't like. Lucky they both speak the language of looove.

In case you didn't notice, these are all basically the same book! And just think, if Jane Austen had spent her time rewriting P&P in these progressively more terrible books, then she never would have written Emma, or Mansfield Park, or Persuasion. Her entire legacy would be ONE great novel and a bunch of sad-going-on-pathetic imitations. Yes, the one great novel is enough, but how many series today have one great book in them?

Out of curiosity, are there any other characters we want to hook up from P&P?


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...