Posts Tagged ‘jane austen’

I Love Wait Wait don't tell me, on NPR. Every Saturday I either listen or get the podcast.  This last week had a "Bluff the Listener" segment that was all about the reworkings of classics to get a younger audience.
One of the options was a marshmallow version of the Iliad. 

The true story, the novel to be published in April is….

Wait for it.

Pride and Prejudice and ZOMBIES!

Yes that's right.
The first zombie attack takes place the night of the Netherfield Ball.

Turn in your grave Jane….Turn!

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15 is done, 16 almost there.

A Thousand Splendid Suns
Khaled Hosseini

I finished this book this week.  I was so moved.  It is the story of a girl born out of wedlock, and a girl born into a loving but broken family, both in Afghanistan.  A thousand splendid Suns told both the story of these two women, and the hardships they faced, and the friendship they formed together, but also the story of Afghanistan the nation, from before the Soviet Army invaded, to the recent past. 

I thought I knew a great deal of history, and yet I find I learned a lot from this sparse and yet lyrical novel.  Again Khaled Hosseini captivated me, and caught my imagination, and made me care what happened to Mariam and Lylia
Well worth the reading.

(I was a bit distracted by how many references there were to teeth in this movie, missing, rotted, too white, yellowed, crushed, knocked out.  Everyone had teeth mentioned I believe)

Book number 16: going with a classic.

I would also recommend this book also, as it came as quite the surprise to me.  It is the story of several women, and their choices in life, and centers around Dorothy, a woman of some means, who makes a match with a man who chooses to be jealous, despite the sacrifices his wife makes. 
I was quite surprised at how sarcastic it was, and deliciously twisted. 
Elliot really spun a tale of morality, and of emotions.  She showed how they can be suggested and controlled with little action.  And I loved how interconnected it all was.
Not up with Jane Eyre or the Austen novels, but absolutely an English authoress to praise and remember.

By the by I am also reading "God is not great"  "Pyramids" "Touchstone" and "Pretties", all mentioned in previous posts, and re-reading "Wicked"  which I'm again realizing how much I love. 

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It's a truth, almost universally acknowledged, that most women have a crush on Mr. Darcy, Jane Austen's enigmatic and well known leading man.  This is a truth that we are rarely forced to defend.  It's sort of unspoken, or understood by most of the well read (or well watched in the case of this version) women of the world, and greeted by quite a few eye rolls from the men in our lives.
This last week I watched the last few hours of the 1995 version of Pride and Prejudice.  Then caught the tail end of the newest version of Persuasion.  Of course I decided to go for the trifecta of romantic sucker punches, and watched Becoming Jane.  It really got me thinking.
I realize that my romantic ideal for the perfect man is made up of a hodge podge of literary characters, and, while I don't ever compare men to this creation, I know it affects my idea of what I'm looking for.
So who is this perfect man?  Well perfect is not quite the correct term, as I like a man who's human, but here's the written standard that I've come to love (and the book(s) that they come from).

Captain Wentworth (Jane Austen's Persuasion) embodies faithfulness and passion.  This is a novel about constancy, and about choosing love over resentment, and even fortune.  He also has the great, passionate, letter to Anne Elliot, informing her of his love that has endured.  Who doesn't want to read "You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever." written to them.  What Wentworth has done to me is firm up the belief that I deserve a man who is faithful to me over the years, and who loves me, and my spirit, and my mind, with a great passion.

Mr. Knightly (also from the Jane Austen repertoire) is a character that embodies one of the most important things to me.  The desire to see the loved one become what they can be, and saying so.  I have always wanted a man that would challenge me to be better (not to be confused with a man who doesn't think I'm good enough).  Mr. Knightly does this for Emma. He sees her choosing to be cruel, and choosing paths that are beneath her, and he calls her on it, and does so out of love.  I've always said I want a man with the strength to tell me to shut up, not because I relish being told off, but because I know how forceful I am, and I want a man who can, with love, stand up to me, and not let me always be the manipulative controlling person I know I can be at times.

Mr. Darcy, of Pride and Prejudice fame, is a man many women can fall for.  I'm no exception, but I can tell you what won me.  This is a man who recognized that the woman he loved was worth being a better man for.  He realized that the Elizabeth, the sassy, speak her mind, intelligent, loyal, woman (to whom I claim quite an affinity) had, as the Bible puts it "a price above rubies". He recognized that, in order to win her, he needed to rethink his priorities, and become a better person.  I like the idea that we should value our significant others enough to endeavor to be the best spouse/partner we can be for them.

Ramses Emerson, from the Amelia Peabody Emerson series by Elizabeth Peters, has always had a special place in my heart from the moment his irascible,  superbly intelligent,  person came on the scene, as a child, in this series.  I fell in love with his calculation, and his risk taking, and his deep love of what was right. (Not to mention his love of a red-haired woman)  He took chances, and thought deeply, and loved even more than that, but what appeals to me the most is his mind. (and the description of his hooded dark eyes).  I really long for a man that can meet me on the intelligence scale.  It's not something I find very often.  Ramses takes work, and the woman he loves takes work as well.  I want something like this. 
Honorable Mention in this catagory: Sherlock Holmes from the Laurie R. King series.  I want a man who takes puzzling out, someone not always easy to read, and someone who is going to take the time to do that with me as well.  Yes…I do find enigmatic sexy….but I'm not ready to go for brooding yet.

Mr. J.L.B. Matakoni from the Ladies No1 Detective agency series by Alexander McCall Smith.  This man has gentleness and Grace down to a science.  He knows when to just let his wife do things, but he's persistent enough to get things done.  He listens, and takes his time, and cares deeply.  Plus he finds, um, 'traditionally built' women attractive. As we all should.  He is also very giving, and generous, and a sucker for a well made cake.  Just the type of man I need…only he needs to be a sucker for well made pasta sauce.

Literary honorable mentions include Neville Longbottom (a boy so doesn't count) because he was willing to sacrifice everything, including his hard won friendships, Aslan (lion, not a person) because of the whole not tame or safe but good thing.  I mean I don't want a bad boy, but I want edge.
I'm sure I've forgotten some character or another, especially since I'm not sitting next to my bookcase.

So there you have it.  The Men that make finding a real one difficult.  I didn't even include the cinematic/television related ones in the mix. Oh well, it's not like my father hasn't already set the bar really high.

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