Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Having Trouble Uploadin' Photos, & I Review MANSFIELD PARK

March 30, 2011

Well, now I am just bumfuzzled. I have been tryin' to upload photos from my laptop, and I keep gettin' this message sayin' security error or somthin'. Any idea what's goin' on? I'll keep workin' on the problem, but in the meantime....

I need to give you a bit of back ground on myself. You see, ever since I was 4 years old, I have been able to read at a freakishly fast rate. I could read all my textbooks in the first week, then get into trouble the rest of the year, since I was bored out of my skull. I was once forced to take a speed readin' course in junior high, and it SLOWED ME DOWN. I can read a complete book in a day. I say this not to impress you, but to make the point. I took over two weeks to read Jane Austen's MANSFIELD PARK. Why would this be? It's only a 405 page novel. It's well written. I understand the language and phraseology of the time period. So why would a die hard speed readin' fiend take so long to read a classic author's work? I can sum up the problem in one word--


I would begin to read the book, and within a few pages, I would start to fume and rant about these, these---CHARACTERS. I would get so flustered at them I would just have to put the book down and walk away. After I did complete the book, I learned that it is Austen's least popular novel. I can understand why.

I'll just say it--these people are a waste of space.

There is not one person in this book to respect, admire, or even just simply like for their personality traits. They don't DO ANYTHING. They sit around and blather aimlessly about nonsense. And dysfunctional? Please! Dr. Phil would run screamin' from the room with this group.

By the time I was done readin', I wanted to send Sir Thomas back to his overseas business. His wife, who sits about in a daze all day, constantly saying how she cannot cope without Fanny (I'll get to HER in a bit--trust me), I am convinced is nippin' from a bottle of 98 proof patent medicine, probably sold to cure 'feminine nervous complaints'. I bet she hides it in her reticule, cause this dame is loopy by tea time.

I wanted to poison Mrs. Norris' watercress and cucumber sandwiches, report the Prices to child welfare, tell Edmund to man up, and send Tom to Gambler's Anonymous. Mr. Rushworth needs to lock Maria in the attic.

As for the Crawfords, Mary and her brother Henry? I would have sent those two social climbin' vultures packin' after the first time they showed up. I actually want to snatch Mary bald, she maddens me so.

Maddens me so? Good grief, I have slipped into the vernacular of the time!

Now, we come to the *ahem* 'heroine' of the piece, Miss Fanny Price herself.

Fanny, Fanny, Fanny.....

I want to grab her by the shoulders, shake her until her teeth rattle in her head, while shrieking in her face,


Well, now that I have alienated everyone of you who adores jane Austen, let me give you the good news...

I happened upon two DVDs in the Hartshorne Library. PRIDE AND PERJUDICE, and SENSE AND SENSIBILITY. After finishing MANFIELD PARK, I had pretty much decided to forego any more contact with Miss Austen. However, I felt that I at least owed her a peep at the film versions of her work.

I am so glad I watched them.

SENSE AND SENSIBILITY, starring Emma Thompson and Hugh Grant, was charming, and Alan Rickman as Colonel Brandon was wonderful. The characters are not perfect. However, each one has a trait that can be admired, or at least smiled about behind one's hand. There are misunderstandings of course, but they are ones that you could see actually happening in real life. There are is a cad, but he receives his comeuppance. The real romances actually develop from true regard, not just "I saw her/him, and I knew at once I was destined to be with them." Emma Thompson wrote the screenplay, and if you get a chance, check the DVD feature that shows her GOLDEN GLOBES acceptance speech, written in the style of Jane Austen. It is delightful.

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, with Keira Knightley, Donald Sutherland, and Dame Judi Dench, was also great. I understood the plot completely, and again the characters, while flawed, had traits to enjoy. Except for Her Ladyship, played by Judi Dench. She was so unpleasant that when she showed up the second time--all I could think of was, "what does that old bat want now?".

Thanks to these two films, I will be reading the original books. I am also looking forward to reading Austen's gothic novel, NORTHANGER ABBEY.

Now that I got that off my chest, I feel much better.

Well, I got chores. Later ya'll.
© 2011 by Evelyn Edgett

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