donderdag 8 juli 2010

Becoming Jane

In the two months that I am home I do have some certain appetites. One is for reading. After taking a break of the best bookclub ever I decided to join again for the summer read. The four books I ordered a few weeks ago and I started in the first one. But this summer they have got competition. Like mentioned before I got Twilighted a few weeks ago. So now half my house is filled up with books and DVDs with apples, red ribbons and chess pieces on the cover.

When I told N that I was reading the books she was so kind to tell me that I should grow up! The best defence I had was:'They are real good books and so much better then the movie!' Sounded so much as a cliché! For the moment I finished book 1 and 3. I am half way through 2 (the reason why I finished 3 before 2 is very complicated but call it logistics!). 'Breaking Dawn' I am going to keep till the end of the summer. Because my VIB-stack is waiting for me.

The whole Twilight thing is getting a bit out of hand. P is already calling it worse then Facebook! 'For god's sake, vampires, how can that be of some quality!?' While standing in my nighties in our bedroom with a copy of Eclipse I felt busted. I do not have many justifications at hand to turn this into the read of the century. Because, honestly that's not it.

Okay, I have this thing going on with Doctor Carlisle Cullen who is way out of range when it comes to blood sucking vampires. There is also the fact that I do think that I do have the right to get, once in a while, into one of those hypes or nostalgic things. This week I was even tempted to buy one of those Monchichi monkeys. Don't start me now that men don't have those spells. In most of their cases it are wet dreams about some certain cars. Even P has got this thing going for a certain little car where I just can't put my finger on.

I try to understand him why this is the one and only car that is way up there. Believe me, we have arguments about him buying that object of his affection on 4 wheels. For me that one little sport's car stands for the little boy that is still alive inside of him. One day it will be parked in front of our house. That day I just will have to let my fences down and hope to see many smiles and sparkling eyes when he gets behind the wheel.

So why can't he back of when it comes to books? Because if he would know me better he would understand why I do try to get to the bottom of Stephenie Meyer her creations. But then it would take me months to explain that there is for sure a dash of my all time favorite author in there: Jane Austen. Still, even that adoration P does not get.

Becoming a Janeites did hurt. While doing my research for my final college dissertation I bought tons of books covering the life and work of this Hampshire born lady. I remember standing in front of her grave, on which there was lying one freshly cut red rose, that my mind was completely invaded by her.

Twilight author Meyer knows her classics and besides Shakespeare and some other notorious authors she has found something between the lines in Jane her fruits of labor. True love, commitment, patience, prejudice, pride, believing in the good nature of human beings and this against all odds,.... She did not name the most overprotective vampire of all Edward because she just liked the sound of that name.

Privately Jane Austen her love live was one big mess. Like many women she just did not obtain the right to choose her own love intrest. Her beloved parents tried to point out that money was above love the one thing that matters in the cruel world. And that you can't make your own living by the pen! Unfortunately she fell in love with that one object. And she would only settle for a wedding contract if a husband would let her make a living made out of ink.

The men she met on her way to the final product also landed up in there. Because it is not hard to imagine that Jane did have a Mr Darcy of her own. Eloping, chances are she had tried it out herself, she had danced on a few formal balls herself and had seen the destruction love can bring on. Her true emotions she kept not always to herself. In the published letters to her sister Cassandra (whose lover died of yellow fever once he made it to the tropics) she admits very openly that she wants to feel alive and love unconditionally!

It are these letters that I do think are the key to the writtings of Jane. In her correspondence she confronts the closest of kin what she thinks of the world in which she tries to find her true soulmate. Time was not that kind on her. But she kept on writing and in that time, where most fortunate women had to be gifted dancers or piano players to entertain the men, that was quite a challenge.

Jane was a good dancer and she played the piano good enough to find the 'right'man. Only once she seemed to have met her 'Edward' or 'Mr Darcy'. The guy who couldn't read her from the first time they met, who offended her openly, who lied many times to her to keep her safe and obviously told her that she was a good woman to the core: Thomas Lefroy! But he also settled for the conventional rule and put a ring on a 'good behaving soul'!

For me it was as college student very hard to understand the psycho of Jane. I did feel a bit pitty for and she seemed to be a prisoner of her time. According to many Jane was just one of those women who tried to be less conventional then most women who surrounded her. If it comes to the 21st century we have nowdays also many modern Jane Austens: women who try to stand up for their true beliefs and believing in true love against all odds! I even have some friends who I kindly will put into that category.

Jane was a very exceptional person and a very stong individual with one drive and that was to write about what she thaught about the life she was trying to cope with but secretly still hope against all odds. Still I think she deserved a better epitaph on her grave. Because "extraordinary endowments of her mind", were the only words her brother James could come up with when dealing with her intelect. Seems he was a bit ashamed of his own next of kin.

In 'Becoming Jane' (a movie about the life of Jane Austen) the Regency girl says very fitting words about novels:'A novel must show how the world truely is. Somehow reveal the true source of our actions!' Bella comparing with for example Elizabeth Bennett is hard to do but they have more in common then many think. Vampy Edward can be matched up with the cool Mr Darcy but then also with an other dramatic loverboy called Heathcliff (Brönte)!

Still, if I have to choose between a ride on horse or touring the sporty Volvo of Edward or the so cool Merc of Carlisle then I can make up my mind in no time. 'My kingdom for a horse', is perhaps too Shakesperian (an other author the Twilight author turned to for inspiration) for these Cullen Boys but at least they have got manners when it comes to courtship! So if P gets his act together then at least he opens the door of the passenger seat once he dares to come home with that dream car of his!

P.S.: Yes, I admit it openly once it was half time in the game Germany-Spain I changed channels to watch this nice movie covering Jane Austen her life! Not true to the letter but very nice insights into one of the most daring female authors of her life. I love the answer Jane gives when asked by one her courters if her novels have happy endings:'My characters will have all that they desire!' Guess that Bella would fit right into a novel of hers!

1 opmerking:

Marina zei

I love reading too! I've read good books and also bad books. I think that must be happen to everybody who want to make an opinion about the quality of books. I mostly like novels and my hubby likes history and political books. The best time for me is when we both read the same book and then we discuss about it.