Friday, August 28, 2009

Worms and Jane

Lots of rain for the start of classes here. Twice I walked through the pouring rain to work last week. The smell of rotting worms came up from the lawns afterwards. I have a soft spot for worms. I hate to see them drowning on sidewalks. Do they drown in the mud too? I feel like saving the ones that are stuck on the pavement. I did actually pick up and fling two worms to grassy safety. Maybe that's enough this semester. I don't like the smell on my fingers. This concern for our annelid friends seems odd to me because from a tiny child I was taught to cheerfully thread worms and pieces of worms on hooks to tempt the fish. I did have some crisis of empathy about it once I got to be eight or nine. But the possibility of fish always won out. So I guess I'm kind to worms unless I want to use them for bait. Those are my rules, worms,
you've been warned.

Finished watching Emma last night and the experience turned out to be yet another gift with love from my worthless memory. I enjoyed it very much but I had indeed seen the whole thing. Although I have no memory of the event (a little scary?) I'm sure it must have been the Danish who sat me down and watched it with me. At any rate the movie captures the feeling of joy very well. A little too glib, but they can't just read the novel's dialog now can they? I like GP's acting, her neck is incredibly expressive in this film and her voice is pretty wonderful. I had forgotten that Frank Churchill is played by Ewan McGregor, another lovely voice. I was sorry they didn't include her making amends with Miss Bates and Miss Jane Fairfax. But plenty of good stuff including what must be an English Country Dance enthusiast's wet dream of a ball sequence. It shows significant amounts of at least two dances and advances the plot while doing so. Bravo!

Now I feel that I should include my book report on Pride and Prejudice. But I've missed the moment a bit. I finished it just before the beginning of semester tsunami hit. So I'm left trying to remember what in my brain then. When I got to the end of the novel I was smiling at Miss Elizabeth's triumph over Mr. Darcy. It made me want to study this in conjunction with Taming of the Shrew (high school english teachers everywhere are applauding my insight). It seems as one-sided as that is, in its way. Absolutely delightful. Elizabeth and her father are great characters. The plight of feeling ashamed of one's family must be universal and is very well rendered here. Elizabeth gets to be critical and
demanding while being loving and valuing goodness. Of course I enjoyed her spleen. Here's some when she has come to stay with her sister Jane, taken sick at the Bingley's home. The two ladies of the house make much of Jane when she's around but can't be bothered with her when she's not so, "their indifference towards Jane when not immediately before them restored Elizabeth to the enjoyment of all her former dislike.” A girl after my own heart.

My Austen summer was a big success. I'm so glad to know these novels at last, as more than the script source for so many period costume dramas.


amenaneri said...

Hello, my little Austen acolyte! I really quite like that version of Emma--it totally captures the humor of the book (even if it overplays it slightly with clever cuts, etc.), and GP gracefully treads that fine line between Emma's arrogance and sweetness, making you love her in the end. The character really is quite annoying and superior, but there is a good heart there--I've seen other versions where she's not as appealing. There's another pretty good Brit version with Kate Beckinsale and Mark Strong that I like fairly well, too, but her Emma is more petulant and not as sweet. Still appealing, though.

Well, now that you've finished P&P, you can start in on the movies and miniseries ;-) Much more to keep a girl occupied.

Re: P&P does Elizabeth triumph over Mr. Darcy? I rather think he triumphs over her...he has a vision and fulfills on it with great humility and charm. It is such a delightful book. I too love Elizabeth and her father, although I don't know if he (as is wont with Austen parents) is a particularly good father--he cedes control of his family to his ridiculous wife and is content to sit in his study and mock them. What is a poor man to do with 5 girls and not much money...perhaps he had a good solution after all.

I'm housesitting in the Castro again, and wishing you were coming for another visit. Evan's gone to Burning Man, so I'm all alone with a gorgeous TV room (remodeled since you were there) and unlimited movies...

Nimble said...

Hey sweets, wishing we could stroll hand in hand to the pastry shop in Bath. I forgot that I still have S&S to read. I will get on that once I have gotten some modern novels.

I do think E triumphs. Mr. Darcy comes humbled to her which was not at all his original approach. He reforms his manner though his good intentions and good actions were there to begin with. She accepts him as suitor which can be a loss only in terms of feminist self determination. And probably not even then since married women had more power to do things and go places if they had an amiable spouse.

Mr. Bennet is definitely *not* a good father for the children he has. But he's a hoot and one is drawn to love him like E does.

Enjoy your Castro luxury! Thinking fondly of last Feb.

Bee said...

You are so right about GP's neck in Emma. She is just a slender, elegant wand in that movie . . . although the weather doesn't seem very English at all.

It's blustery today. I haven't seen any worms, though. In fact, you don't ever see those great big fat earthworms here. I wonder why?

BTW, my memory is horrible too. A guy that I knew in high school tried to chat with me on Facebook today and I have NO MEMORY of him. It's sad.