Friday, 16 December 2011

A truth universally re-imagined

Praise be, I have finally read Pride & Prejudice; at the third attempt, or possibly the second since I’m not sure picking up the book and never opening it counts. It wasn’t, in case you’re wondering, the graphic novel depicted - I just like the idea and since I’ve seen so many adaptations, perhaps one day this will be another? How could I have doubted Jane Austen having seen this story told so many times? There’s an old version with Laurence Olivier that takes huge liberties with the story, but it helps if you have a crush on Greer Garson. I vaguely remember a BBC series from the 1980’s before their more famous effort with Colin Firth. And there’s the Keira Knightley film of which I’m unsure, despite having seen it a few times. I suppose familiarity was a problem but it proved its worth, despite taking a while to settle on who was who; Firth as Darcy, Mary Boland as Mrs Bennet, Melville Cooper edged out by David Bamber for the role of Mr Collins, yet I could never settle on an Elizabeth; it was no matter, the book was the star. I knew it to be a clever, sharp humour, but never imagined romance could be portrayed so well.

Courtesy of my Kindle which, despite Amazon continually reminding me of a newer, cheaper version with a better form-factor, has proved the spark necessary to get me reading again. I love my Kindle. Pride & Prejudice is the twelfth book I’ve read this year, it’s not a lot I know; I am in awe of you book-a-week types, for me it’s a recovery from near extinction, so I’m happy. Of the dozen, I’d seen film or television adaptations of five. I’m not sure what that says, whether it’s a good or a bad thing, whether it’s a normal ratio, but since I’m planning to read Any Human Heart next, it’s not worried me too much. I bought it on Blu-ray but to be fair, I am going to read the book first... oh alright, second; I saw it on Channel 4 last December.

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