The question for The Classics Club’s March meme is:
Do you love Jane Austen or want to “dig her up and beat her over the skull with her own shin-bone”? (Phrase borrowed from Mark Twain).
1. Why? (for either answer)?
2. Favorite and/or least favorite Austen novel?
Honestly, I can’t decide just yet. I have only read two books of her; the first was Pride in Prejudice in Indonesian translation. With this one I had bad experience, since the translation failed to bring the atmosphere of Austen’s Regency England, and to be honest, I think that it was flat and boring. And then I tried reading Northanger Abbey, which I liked better than Pride and Prejudice, but still I didn’t go further than giving it three out of five stars.
For me, Austen is 19th century chick lit. But, please allow me to say that “To every kind a book there is a season, a time to read Austen and a time to read Dickens, a time to read Twain and a time to read Brontë, a time to read Shakespeare and a time to read Poe, a time to read Hodgson Burnett and a time to read Conan Doyle, a time to read Montgomery and a time to read Wilde, a time to read Kipling and a time to read Hemingway.”
(If there was a Bible of classics literature then Ecclesiastes 3 should sound like the above)
Blame it on Joe Wright AND Matthew Macfadyen that I should love the 2005 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. (Now, do you think that disliking a book and at the same time loving its adaptation is impossible? It happens to me.) I also watched the 2007 BBC miniseries of Northanger Abbey, which I also liked a lot more than the book. And I watched two versions of Sense and Sensibility; the 1995 adaptation and the 2008 BBC miniseries. And one more, the 2007 TV movie of Persuasion, which I enjoyed the least from all the titles I mentioned above.
Watching an adaptation of Pride and Prejudice made me want to give another chance to Ms. Austen, lest at first I couldn’t enjoy her writing because of the limitations of translation. And I currently have a copy of Sense and Sensibility waiting to be read. I have a feeling that it would be my favorite of all Austen’s novels, because from watching the adaptations I learned that I love the story, and it relates to my personal life. As for other titles from Ms. Austen, I haven’t had interest in them yet.
Last of all, it won’t be complete discussing Austen without mentioning her fictional heroes. I mean, they are like Disney princes to me with all their charm and good looks and in some of them, great wealth. Add charismatic actors to play these Austen’s heroes and you get ladies swooning.
My Top 3 Austen Heroes:
Edward Ferrars from Sense and Sensibility as portrayed by Dan Stevens in 2008 BBC miniseries
Fitzwilliam Darcy from Pride and Prejudice as portrayed by Matthew Macfadyen in 2005 movie adaptation
Henry Tilney from Northanger Abbey as portrayed by JJ Feild in 2007 BBC miniseries
Okay, I slipped a little bit of fangirling in this meme post, my bad. 😛 However, if you want to know more about Jane Austen’s heroes, you might enjoy reading this post. Now let us go back to the main question, do I love or hate Jane Austen? I am still in between about her novels. But in the case of the adaptations of her novels, I would say LOVE, well, at least the titles I have mentioned above. 😉