Thursday, August 30, 2007

I finished Emma today. Much like Frank Churchill's letter convinces everyone to be happy and like him again, the cheerful final chapters put me in a good mood with this book, and I think it's not so bad after all. Since I finished this morning I've been doing chores and laundry and catching up with everything that falls behind when I have a book I'm reading. I also stopped in the middle of 'Basic Economics' by Thomas Sowell. It's an interesting book, and dovetails nice with Emma.
I read in the Jasna News about an upcoming film entitled Sense and Sensibilidad'. Now that sounds fun. I'm glad Jane Austen never grows old, because there is always another rendition or interpretation around the corner. I was suprised to hear that a friend had never seen 'Bride and Prejudice'. I said "You HAVE to see it!" and she said maybe she'd buy it. To which I said, "Maybe you should just rent it."

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Almost Done With Emma

and good thing because I'm getting behind on the housework! I hate to admit this with Emma's AGM coming up, but it is not high on my list of Jane Austen favorites. But maybe afterwards I'll have a greater appreciation. My favorite novel of all time is Mansfield Park, with Persuasion and Pride and Prejudice in second and third. I know Mansfield Park sparks some debate among Jane Austen Fans, But I think I love Fanny Price so much because I more closely relate to her. My DREAM is to see a movie version of Mansfield Park that is fairly accurate to the book, and alas, I don't think this will ever happen. I spend a lot of time trying to persuade Jane Austen fans to even READ Mansfield Park. I was excited to hear that the ITV versions will be on PBS in the US in January. I can't wait. I've wanted to buy them and they are not available in a format for US TV's yet. I have heard from some people that they have been seen on youtube, and some people even stayed up all night to watch all three of the new movies on a four inch screen in seven minute sections and found it well worthwhile. I'm not condoning such crazed fan behavior, but this is what I hear about the movies.......... The new Mansfield Park was dissapointing, and seemed to be made for a teenage audience desiring nothing more than pretty buildings and regency costumes. The characterizations were all wrong, which makes the plot seem random and bizzarre. The Northanger Abbey was delightful, and really gives a new appreciation for the story, which is often overlooked because of it's simplicity and, I feel, because it is a parody of the typical gothic romance of the day. But the book is sweet because of the way Jane's voice comes through, and this movie is just that, sweet, delightful, well cast. There is a fan vieo on Youtube using clips of the movie to the song "As I Lay Me Down' by Sophie B. Hawkins, that is just excellent, by the way, and could serve as a trailer or promo for the film in January if you aren't quite up to watching the little Youtube screen the way some people are. ...As I Lay Me Down...
The ITV Persuasion was the most pleasant suprise and is highly reccommended. The casting was wonderful, the mood came across so well. For being condensed into the length of feature it is, it covered the story well, with a little creative liscence in the epilogue. It is so good it may atone for the weak Mansfield Park. The novel always brings a tear to my eye, even after many readings, and the movie reached that level of emotion. So here's to a countdown till January, and even better if they go on sale for Christmas!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Jane Austen Society

Looks like I’m up and running!

I am so excited for the JASNA (Jane Austen Society of North America) general meeting, and want to share my plans along with pictures and comments during the weekend of the meeting. I am a first timer, so everything AGM related is new to me. I am a lifetime member of JASNA, thanks to my sweetie’s thoughtful Christmas gift a couple years ago.
I want to make a dress for the AGM. I’d love to have two, but there’s little more than a month to sew, and my skills leave a lot to be desired. I won’t even be able to start until the kids get in school next week. I was hoping to have a pattern picked out by now. One of my friends told me she has regency costume patterns, so I may run over and see what she’s got on Wednesday, before I go to the fabric store. As far as the color goes, I have gone back and forth between red, or white with a sweet little pattern. Now, since it’s mainly for the evening I’m leaning toward the white. I would like to model it after the dress pictured on the cover of “Jane Austen’s Town and Country Style”, which is light with a small dotted pattern, and has rows of lace around the bottom. I want a high empire waist, but not too much gathering. I don’t want to look puffy around the middle, so I may trade historical accuracy for a more flattering fit.
When I registered for the AGM one of my hopes was to get into the Country Dance workshops, but they were full. That was a minor disappointment. Since then additional workshops have been added on Wednesday night of the AGM, but I will not be arriving until Thursday, so it doesn’t help me any. Maybe I can find a video on the internet. Or maybe I should watch the ballroom scenes from P&P over and over again until I have them down….Either way I am going to have a good time and try dancing a little.
I only live a few hours away from Vancouver, so I’ll be driving. I opted for roommate matching when I registered, so that is another fun part of the adventure. My roommate has reserved the room at the Fairfield and I can’t wait to see it, and meet her.
I am reading Emma again so it will be fresh in my mind. I may go into this more in a later entry, but I’m frustrated that Mr. Knightly isn’t kinder. This time through I’m really struck by the sense of ‘entitlement’ that he has towards her. No wonder Emma can’t think of him in a romantic way. He’s been nothing but her critic from the time she was small. Who wants that?