Like The Queen
Whatever happens to strike my fancy, but surely some sort of fiber content.


If it helps at all, Dear Bess, at least this version of P&P was merely a badly done movie based on a wonderful story. However, "Karla", due to be released this week, is being reviewed here in Canada as a badly done movie based on a (tragically) True Horror story. :-( We Canucks are not amused.

By Blogger Margaret, at 10:20 AM  

Just know you're not the only one offended by bad versions of good books.... (Did you see that Laura Ingalls Wilder movie on the tv a few years ago (probably more like 5 by now) - the one where Laura and Almanzo decide to have sex in the field where their house will be or something - ick!)

Anyway - just also wanted to comment that I managed to get through school (highschool and undergraduate) without EVER having to read P&P (or any JA novel) nor Jane Eyre, nor a lot of the classics that I love... (actually makes me mad because I would have loved to have had to read my favorite novels for class)

I did write my AP English paper on P&P (Thats when it finally surpassed Emma as my favorite novel of all time - oddly enough writing a research paper actually increased my love of it!) but I had my choice of what I wanted to write on, it wasn't assigned...

By Blogger Aria, at 12:20 PM  

I so agree with you. It's along the same lines as Demi Moore's version of "The Scarlet Letter" a number of years back. They actually CHANGED the ending. Not to mention various other details of the book. Shame shame shame on them.

And further shame because probably a frightening number of movie goers didn't even realize this ... and now think that's the way TSL actually goes.

grrrr. If one is not going to follow the plot and details of a classic, then one should not call a movie by the classic's title.

Sure, use the book as a starting point. Just name it something else, for gosh sakes.

Hugs, Jen (an equally~affronted English Lit major)

By Blogger Jennifer, at 1:41 PM  

You're obsessed, dear, because you care about intellectual excellence and the degeneration of society's literary skills. The mangling of a classic offends you as much as the mangling of the language offends me. Literature is much of your life - of course you're offended!


By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:21 PM  

at TNK tonight Isobel and I both left with new copies of P&P!! You've inspired us to do our own little book club read-along! Jane

By Blogger jane, at 11:14 PM  

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Tuesday, January 17, 2006  

Whew. I am much better now. I’m much more at peace about that dreadful movie and I must thank you, dear darling ones, for your comments. They were a great help. It seems silly, but my reaction to the movie, and to the mainstream media chatter about it, was decidedly and painfully subjective. Yet, why should I be so offended, so furious, actually, that yet another bad movie has flashed across the horizon. There are thousands of bad movies out there. And after all, I didn’t write the witty and marvelous P&P. I am not being misrepresented by the sleazy side of the entertainment world. I’m definitely not being used as the foster mother for the fashionable pleasures of anorexia and plastic surgery. I’m only peripherally affected as a librarian, and ought to take heart that at least 6 young women were prompted to read a piece of literature they’d always heard about but had somehow missed on their road to adulthood. If only 6 million others had done the same, why - there might be a little more artistic outrage. Certainly there would be a little more artistic judgment in the world.

So, why do I care that someone with no taste, no creativity, no literary talent, no dramatic talent, no judgment, perhaps no brains at all, would use the cheap gimmick of showcasing his starved girlfriends and willowy boyfriends under the borrowed light of one of literature’s jewels? After all, I don’t reject the artistic gimmick - the hook, so to say - as a lure for reeling in an audience or as a sort of track for your artistic endeavor to ride upon. Done with skill it makes for a quick read, an evening’s entertainment, or a few hours of listening that leaves one satisfied, admiring, even "de-stressed". I know a how it will end - with our investigator clipping cuffs on the murderer, or our heroine waltzing at her wedding with her dashing hero. I don’t have to worry about the destination so I can enjoy the journey.

All that is just to let you know, I don’t mind a gimmick. But if you plan to hide behind the shadow of a truly known quantity, you really ought to pay deference to it with some quality of your own. Nobody would have bothered to watch this movie if it had been called Fiona’s Folly or Elizabeth’s Locket. P&P is not just a cliché of unknown origin, it is out there, in text and a remarkably accurate film adaptation. So the innocent can be suckered in by the title alone, although, anyone who’s read the book had to be forewarned when he learned that Donald Sutherland would be playing Mr. Bennet.

Of course, English Lit classes being what they are today, it’s entirely possible that a person could get a university degree without ever reading that book. Many other monuments of literature are being by-passed for Terry McMillan and courses in 21st century relevancy. Eh. That’s the way of the world. Each generation thinks its issues are unique, original, and superior to previous generations’ and literature - expanded in the broadest sense to include live drama, film, sound and print - is where they must be aired. The young women who swept up the library copies of P&P this past December were all of my son’s generation. They hadn’t read the book in school and I think they are at a better time in life to read it anyway. It’s not quite so funny if you haven’t yet been really bored at a cocktail party. Only GD has been able to share with me her reaction to the film, but then, we watched it together and nearly got thrown out of the theater because of our derisive laughter and wicked jokes about silicone lip implants.

I still haven’t expressed why I care so much that there is a bad version of a good book out there. Perhaps I care because it looks like literary theft to me. Perhaps I care because so many people actually believe that if they see it in a movie, it is real. Not, mind you, the specific plot or character, but the underlying facts of a story - the values, the images, the reality upon which a story is built. And botox lips and bizarre runway model bodies are so far from any “truth” I want to see adopted by the masses. Worse than confronting a point of view with which I strongly disagree, though, is the fact that mainstream media marches behind it with sycophantic adherence. I’m enough of a first amendment supporter to grant any film maker the right to put such a creepy movie up on the screen and charge you $7.50 to see it. But calling that movie P&P was a little like sticking up a Seven11. Artistic theft. The Literary Lie. Yuck.

So. I am finished with my literary purge. I can sink back into the comfort of my own smug opinions and leave the great unwashed to their own piggish ways.

Alas - my last long slow 4 day weekend has passed and if I want any more of these languorous days at home I’ll have to subtract them from my meager collection of vacation hours. But such a sweet satisfying weekend it was, beginning with a visit to B’s studio, a cold rainy Saturday with BD watching - nay - becoming addicted to this - a Sunday when I knew I still had Another Day Off and also when I transformed the dust bin into the sparkle box - and the sweet opportunity to teach a friend how to spin on Monday.

Part of the fun of teaching L was that I had to dig out all sorts of interesting fibers from Aladin’s Stash Cave as I looked for something I thought she would be successful with. L is not a craft person. She’s not a fiddly finger woman, always wanting to produce. I knew this but I also sensed that she needed something that would center her and help her find that zone where the chakras open, the energy forces flow. She’s been suffering from our version of a general upper respiratory crud that can lodge itself in your lungs in October and stay till July: part cold, part allergies, all misery.

The first thing I always like to do when teaching spinning is to show my Ugly Babies. I think that if people see how quickly I progressed from dreadlocks to yarn, they won’t be discouraged if their yarns don’t look like the stuff in the stores. We used some Beast I had and started with some discussion of fiber qualities. I had her pull on the fiber, looking for that spot where they begin to slide apart. Then I had her pinch that spot with one hand and pull again - again looking for the movement of the fibers. This way she was able to predraft a fairly even length. She used my Golding spindle - it spins forever, and produced a yarn that was much better than my first yarn.

But I was more interested in getting her on the wheel. I was sure she’d feel the centering that a spinning wheel can give a body and I was right. First she treadled while the bobbin was empty. I wanted her to find the sweet spot on the treadle that gives you control over the drive wheel’s direction. It took only moments and at that point she felt the centering - the flow that happens at the spinning wheel. After that it was easy to see how the drop spindle steps translate to the wheel and she spun a lovely soft puffy yarn.

She laughingly told me that she thought she’d just frame it, since she neither knits, crochets nor weaves. I advised putting it in a bowl on the dining room table. She left smiling and calm and with both Stony Mountain Fiber’s address and the website for the Golding Spindles in her pocket.

There is nothing so sweet to me as watching a new spinning student make beautiful yarn. It’s even more fun than watching my new knitting students succeed. Something so ancient, so elemental as spinning just pulls deep at the very core of my being and all those trite sayings about the common thread ring as true as crystal bells in my heart.

And with that I’m ready to move into a new week. It’s a toughie because my library board meets this day and my Friends board does too. I’m on the carpet - if that is the expression. Not that I am in trouble, but this is the week I catch my bosses and supporters up on what’s been going on and what is needed to go forward. And I’ve been out sick so much that there’s almost nothing to report. Still - I am sure I can find something besides statistics to interest them. Beyond that - there is nothing much on the agenda. Just good days with good work among good people. Sounds pretty good to me.

posted by Bess | 7:48 AM