Posts Tagged ‘pride and prejudice’

And Now For Something Completely Different

(Psst, just FYI, Amazon has Shards for sale for $3 off! Not a bad deal for a new release.)

I am severely tempted here to just quote Monty Python but that’s not actually the point of this post. Though maybe someday, because I love Monty Python. Actually, in theater class in high school, we had to select scenes and put them on for the class, with our teacher and classmates scoring us, and my teacher actually banned us from doing Monty Python skits about halfway through the semester. (We then switched to Neil Simon, who is also excellent. But apparently more theatrically approved.)

I know we’ve kind of been all Shards all the time around here lately, and I apologize for that. I hope it’s understandable to be so focused on one’s debut novel. I did start reading whatever the latest draft of the first book of my trilogy is, in an attempt to switch gears, but I’m a little frustrated because the pacing is too slow in the front third of the book, which will need fixing. Not terribly enthused to dive back into that, but hey, the beginning of Shards was all off on pacing as well, so it’s not like it’s not something I can fix. But bleh, lots of work.

But I didn’t want to talk about that either. I wanted to talk about Emma Approved. And how I’m kind of enjoying it more than the Lizzie Bennet Diaries, or at least more than I remember enjoying the LBD, which admittedly ended in April and it has been a long time since April.

LBD and Emma Approved are modern-day vlog style adaptations of Pride and Prejudice and Emma, respectively. P&P is one of my favorite books, and I’ve read most of Jane Austen’s completed novels (except for Mansfield Park because I Austened myself out around the time when PBS was putting out an Austen movie/miniseries each weekend and I was reading the books to keep up) including Emma, though I will admit I am mostly lukewarm on most of them.  Aside from P&P, I’ve only read the rest once each, so I don’t really remember the plot in any great detail for Emma except that she’s kind of a butt and her protege totally leaves her in the dust at some point.

But I am enjoying the Emma Approved series, even though Emma is still a butt. Honestly, Mr. Knightley is making the series for me. He is so delightfully snarky. And I thought, hey, maybe some of my squiders also like Austen and would be interested in watching this series as well, and maybe I should tell them about it. It updates Monday and Thursday mornings.

Anyway, Squiders, I hope the first week of December is going well for you, and that you’re not stressing too badly about the holidays. And if you watched LBD and/or have been watching Emma Approved, I’d love to hear your thoughts on either (or both) series thus far.

Modern Day Adaptations

Here’s a quick question, Squiders – is there a way for you to like a post without looking at it? Because sometimes a post will get more likes than it’ll get views in a certain time period, and I don’t know if the view thing is just delayed, or if there’s another way to do it. Assuage my curiosity.

Onward.

Modern day adaptations are all the rage right now. This is where you take source material (usually at least 100 years old) and modify the characters and plot to fit into the cultural and societal norms of today. It’s fairly common, and the more beloved the source material, the more adaptations you’ll find.

(You’ll also occasionally find fantastical adaptations, or science fiction adaptations, of these same stories. These are more awesome but less common.)

There’s many ways people do this. Let’s take Pride and Prejudice, because I can think of three modern day adaptations off the top of my head (and in three different types of media! Score). First, there’s the Lizzie Bennet Diaries – a currently on-going series of vlogs presented on YouTube. (For those familiar with the book, they’re about up to the party shortly before Bingley vacates the area.) This is a very true adaptation, with the plot more or less exactly following that of the book. Second, there’s Lost in Austen, a British mini-series that mixes the modern day with the original source material. And third, there’s Imperfect Bliss, a recently-published novel that is loosely based off of the original source material.

Like all things, some of these things are good and some are bad. And anything is fair game. Wizard of Oz, Sherlock Holmes, Jane Eyre, you name it. Of the three above ways to do a modern day adaptation, I admit I’m not very fond of the “loosely based” option. They don’t tend to be adaptations as much as vaguely related, i.e. something about the original inspired the creator of the new work in some way, and that’s about it. But they’re always marketed as a modern day adaptation, and then they’re not and it annoys me.

By that definition, my high fantasy trilogy is a modern day adaptation of Star Trek. (Hm.)

To me, if you’re going to bother to do an “adaptation,” part of the fun is the challenge of trying to take things that don’t fit in our modern society (to continue with the P&P example, the fact that a woman has to marry to be successful in life) and changing them enough so they make sense to both modern readers and the original intent of the story. Or, when you’re mixing the source material with modern day sensibilities, to see how modern people react to the story, and vice versa.

What do you think, Squiders? Do you like adaptations, or are they sacrilege to the original work? Any you would recommend?