Thursday, February 09, 2006

Pride & Prejudice
I have just finished re-reading Jane Austen's P&P. We saw the new movie w/Kiera Knightly et al., and enjoyed it very much - she is quite lively and lovely even as she is described in the book, with enough wit to overcome the sins of her family. We also rented the older version of the movie w/Colin Firth, who has perfected the art of gazing with nuance for long periods of time without ever saying anything. I am impressed that he can convey so much with doing so little, but perhaps they depend rather a lot on the audiences' fertile imaginations to supply what the actors do not. In any case, both versions of P&P recommend themselves for different reasons and both are faithful to the book, the more recent version in spirit rather than to the letter.
We thought Mr.Bennett was well-portrayed in the earlier version - his dialogue seemed to be straight from the page. I think he is a wonderful character and to paraphrase a line from Jane Eyre: "Mr.Bennett is an amateur of the decided and eccentric". The fact that he promotes his correspondence with the pompous and silly Mr.Collins just so he can enjoy a good laugh is interesting and though he is somewhat in the background, is as fully-wrought a character as any of them.
It is a great pleasure to be revisiting Jane Austen with my daughter. She is getting a great deal of pleasure from the 'canon' and it is fun to discuss the books with her. The 'villains' are satisfyingly dealt with and we can vicariously deal with our own villains by comparing them. Who doesn't know someone as obsequious, vain and full of self-interest as Mr.Collins? Or as pompous and 'frank' and interfering as Lady de Bourgh? And A. knows many fellow students at least as giddy as Lydia - so we have great fun making our comparisons to take the sting from having to deal with them!
Now I have to get down to thinking about some Valentine-y art project to do with my kids today. I bought a package of craft-foam hearts - I may go for the easy thing and just have them make cards....nah - too much of a cop-out.
I will also be conducting a Valentine Pop-Up workshop at Neilson Park on Sunday - so I have to wrap my head around that fairly soon. After a month of being in a total fug, I'm having trouble jump-starting my brain.


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