Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Bridget and Jane

I was in the market for light reading as I prepared for my trip, and Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding is like the quintessenial vacation read, right? And it served its purpose very well --amusing, not challenging ... good times.

Is it just me, or does everyone borrow from Jane Austen, like, all the time? (Why not me? You laugh, but Dickens came up in a meeting about estate planning this morning -- Bleak House, natch.) BJD doesn't purloin a whole plot like, say, Clueless did. She really just nods at Jane as a way to celebrate JA's influence on chick lit through the ages, I think. But check this slacker-nicity(tm A. Fish): In the book, Bridget watches the classic BBC version of Pride and Predjudice starring Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy and Jennifer Ehle as Elizabeth Bennett, and she notes that the London streets are deserted when it's on, a la all of America during the last episode of Seinfeld. So? Masterpiece Theater (ahem, Masterpiece) just got done running that film! (and it is AWESOME. Thank you for not screwing that one up, at least.) And Colin Firth starred as the BJD Mr. Darcy in the movie. Wheels within wheels. Anyway, who better to steal from than Jane, but she does seem to be everywhere.

Further BJD goodness: I finished it on my first day in Mexico and decided to leave the book in my hotel room for some other tourist, rather than dragging it along. So I stayed in the same hotel on my way out and met a woman from Quebec named Mary Emily who works on a quasi-organic farm outside of Quebec City. Yeah. She speaks mainly French, but we were rocking the English. She mentioned she was reading an English book and, yeah, you got it. She had my old room. I wonder what she was making of all the British slang, but the only question she had for me was, "What does 'perhaps' mean?"

Also: Yay!


cK said...

The literary critic James Wood--NOT to be confused with Hollywood's James Woods--wrote a neat essay about Jane Austen's style being the fore-runner to the stream-of-consciousness technique which James Joyce made famous with the modernists.

Dude's got a good point. Austen used a clever blend of exposition and character emotion/thought to give readers a light yet personal tone.

Jane Austen Is My Co-Pilot.

Boomer said...

Anybody see the BJD movie? Would you recommend it?

Sassmaster said...

I enjoyed the BJD movie. It was light and fluffy, but funny as hell.