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Friday, February 1

An Austenite's Truth Universally Acknowledged

Recently, this blogger was inspired to write about a humorous online article from the Oregon newspaper, Mail Tribune, ribbing Austen junkies about our addiction to reading Austenesque prequels, sequels, and other such inspirations of Miss Austen’s famous fictional characters. When I was gently corrected by an Oregonian for presuming to know the reading levels of the residents of that fine state, I was not convinced that it was true until reading Theresa Hogue’s compelling open letter to Jane Austen in the Corvallis Gazette Times.

Dear Miss Jane Austen,

First of all, I want to apologize, on behalf of my contemporaries, for what has been done recently in your name.

There is no excuse for the recent spate of films claiming to be “charming” versions of your beloved novels. In a vile attempt to modernize, they’ve condensed and trivialized your work to the point that even your faithful Gothic novel reader, Catherine Morland, would likely be put off by it.


The bloggers are having a field day in your defense, Miss Austen, if that is any comfort. Like me, they are livid at the recent adaptations of your stellar work that ignore the subtle social interactions of which you were so fond. These new interpreters have chosen to depict mountainous décolletage, and to interject their out-of-place modern sensibilities into your early-19th century world, in the hope of snagging more viewers

All of my notions of Oregon as a provincial wilderness have been banished with my apologies. Oregon is now the Shangri-La of Austen truth. Ms. Hogue seems to be the only reporter to get the big Austen picture. You can read the entire article, Blogging Jane, and rejoice that there is one person in this world sensible enough to see the truth, and brave enough to say it! Bravo Ms. Hogue.

Posted by Laurel Ann, Austenprose


Anonymous said...

Oh, that "letter" is great! I'm so glad to see something finally got published somewhere other than on the blogosphere indicating how frustrated all of us are with these re-interpretations of Jane's stories!

Laurel Ann said...

Thanks for you comments. I hope others read it and understand our frusteration. Possibly when they do the next generation of adaptations, they will get it right? Cheers, Laurel Ann