Saturday, 26 June 2010

Jane Austen Quote of the Week 114

Yesterday I experienced something that made me recall this famous quote uttered by none other than Mr Fitzwilliam Darcy of Pemberley. Pride & Prejudice Volume 1 Chapter 11, when Darcy was confronted by Elizabeth in Netherfield (thanks to Pemberley for the direct quote):

"I have made no such pretension. I have faults enough, but they are not, I hope, of understanding. My temper I dare not vouch for. -- It is I believe too little yielding -- certainly too little for the convenience of the world. I cannot forget the follies and vices of others so soon as I ought, nor their offences against myself. My feelings are not puffed about with every attempt to move them. My temper would perhaps be called resentful. -- My good opinion once lost is lost for ever.''

Darcy is - surprise, surprise - never my favourite Austen hero. But I can understand how his good opinion "once lost is lost for ever".

I was tempted to follow Darcy's track yesterday, as I clashed with a friend of mine over something of utterly no importance to him, but utterly important to me. The 'war' escalated yesterday afternoon until I decided that I did not have to like him, for I had tried to trust him and the trust was often violated. To my angry eyes, he had failed miserably and I could not trust nor like him anymore. The friendship to me is over; and I just have to be civil and polite to him, but minding my own business onwards.

This morning though, I talked to him (he's my housemate) and we finally reached an agreement about something very important to me and many women (household management), and he was willing to negotiate his schedule to shoulder his share in the house. We became civil again and talked a bit. War is over.

But then I also realised, I still don't have to force myself to like him. I just have to learn to live with him and his quirkiness, hoping that I won't have to bend too many of my principles in the future (his cleaning habit is not the only habit of his that disturbs me).

Is my good opinion of him lost forever? I have no idea. I am trying to make more rooms for him, giving him a second chance if you'd like to call it...for everyone does deserve a second chance. But I also understand that I deserve to own my emotions and opinions too, and although I will try to be patient and indifferent, I will also embrace my emotions wisely if they come again.

Hope you all have a peaceful and blissful weekend.

Pic: Elliot Cowan as Mr Darcy in 'Lost in Austen' (he's actually my favourite Darcy, if any!)

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Jeremy Northam in 'Miami Medical'

For you ladies who were gaga over Jeremy Northam's Mr. Knigthley, we are having another treat! Yes we do! For my dearest Mr. Knigthley has decided to move to Miami and become a medical doctor there (and change his ID to Dr. Matt Proctor but still keeping his delicious British accent).

See the preview if you'd like, or replay Gwyneth Palthrow's Emma again to see how charming he was as Mr. Knightley.

Or a rather too sizzling video for a Regency taste, but just fine for 21st CE ladies? Or a rather romantic video?

Now I have to explain that I haven't seen this TV series in Australia yet (am I so far behind?), but US viewers have been lucky for at least 3 months now. But I guess it doesn't perform well, for it is to be canceled on 2 July. Bummer. That blows the chance of seeing it in Australia... or not? Hey, but at least I can still see him in YouTube!

And of course, I am also gaga over Jonny Lee Miller (I never knew he used to marry Angelina Jolie!), but as the lady here said... Jeremy Northam is my Mr. Knightley (Linda dear, not to fret, you can keep Mark Strong's Knightley). Although to be fair, JLM is that close to competing with Northam in my heart, I don't mind having both of them for dinner!

Better make it TWO dinners then. I cannot divide my heart so...

Jane Austen Quote of the Week 113

Apologies for the rather belated quote for friends in Australasia (it's almost dinner time on Sunday here). I finally picked a quote from Emma, Volume III Chapter 12, first paragraph to convey what I've felt as of late.

Till now that she was threatened with its loss, Emma had never known how much of her happiness depended on being first with Mr. Knightley, first in the interest and affection.

The sentence is so true for Emma's and Mr. Knightley's story, but it can be very true for many of us as well. Particularly when we take things for granted (as Emma to Mr. Knightley pre-Harriet's confession), we tend to get panic, or at least become very unhappy when something/someone very important is taken away from us, or had to leave us. I guess the lesson to be learned is... always be grateful, no matter what? And be grateful of every small love we receive on Earth.

Pic: Emma (Romola Garai) and Mr. Knightley (Jonny Lee. Miller) from 2009 BBC Emma, pic from Jane Austen's World

Friday, 11 June 2010

Going Bollywood, Emma? A look into 'Aisha'

A few months ago we uploaded news about the making of a Bollywood version of Emma. The Indian adaptation is titled 'Aisha', played by Sonam Kapoor, and to be released this 6th of August (in India, at least). Now I know many of you might never watched any Bollywood movie... but I sort of dig into this genre (Slumdog Millionaire is a must-see!), and I'm actually wondering how Emma would be translated into Indian silver screen.

There was another Bollywood adaptation of Jane Austen's novel in 2005, Bride and Prejudice (Aishwarya Rai as Lalita/the Indian Lizzy), and although Martin Henderson who played Darcy could have been better, I like the way the music and story intertwined there. But 'Emma' is different. 'Emma' should be funky and cute, and annoying at the same time, and that's a recipe that Bollywood usually excels at.

Anyway, just tidbits from the gossip columns of One India:

The first look of Anil Kapoor Films Company's Aisha is finally out. This Abhay Deol and Sonam Kapoor starrer is an adaptation of the classic novel Emma. Sonam plays Aisha, a young upper class Delhite who has trouble minding her own business and loves interfering in other people's lives while Abhay plays Arjun, a rich Delhi boy who has problem with Sonam's ways and is trying to get her out of the mess she merrily gets herself into.

I have to say I do not fancy the heart glasses, but if Emma is to be transported to 21st CE, that might be the sort of stuff she would wear too... I do fancy the frock, though...

Pic 1: Sonam Kapoor as Aisha, the funky Indian Emma, from One India
Pic 2: That's more like it. I heart Aisha's frock, from Desi Hits

Jane Austen Quote of the Week 112 by Linda

Continuing in Emma with the discussion between Emma and Mr. Knightley in Chapter 8, we find the following quote simply stuffed full of what they considered appropriate for marriage partners:

"And if I did, (which, however, I am far from allowing,) I should not feel that I had done wrong. Mr. Martin is a very respectable young man, but I cannot admit him to be Harriet's equal; and am rather surprized indeed that he should have ventured to address her. By your account, he does seem to have had some scruples. It is a pity that they were ever got over."

"Not Harriet's equal!" exclaimed Mr. Knightley loudly and warmly; and with calmer asperity, added, a few moments afterwards, "No, he is not her equal indeed, for he is as much her superior in sense as in situation. Emma, your infatuation about that girl blinds you. What are Harriet Smith's claims, either of birth, nature or education, to any connection higher than Robert Martin? She is the natural daughter of nobody knows whom, with probably no settled provision at all, and certainly no respectable relations. She is known only as parlour-boarder at a common school. She is not a sensible girl, nor a girl of any information. She has been taught nothing useful, and is too young and too simple to have acquired any thing herself. At her age she can have no experience, and with her little wit, is not very likely ever to have any that can avail her. She is pretty, and she is good tempered, and that is all. My only scruple in advising the match was on his account, as being beneath his deserts, and a bad connexion for him. I felt, that as to fortune, in all probability he might do much better; and that as to a rational companion or useful helpmate, he could not do worse. But I could not reason so to a man in love, and was willing to trust to there being no harm in her, to her having that sort of disposition, which, in good hands, like his, might be easily led aright and turn out very well. The advantage of the match I felt to be all on her side; and had not the smallest doubt (nor have I now) that there would be a general cry-out upon her extreme good luck. Even your satisfaction I made sure of. It crossed my mind immediately that you would not regret your friend's leaving Highbury, for the sake of her being settled so well. I remember saying to myself, 'Even Emma, with all her partiality for Harriet, will think this a good match.'"

"I cannot help wondering at your knowing so little of Emma as to say any such thing. What! think a farmer, (and with all his sense and all his merit Mr. Martin is nothing more,) a good match for my intimate friend! Not regret her leaving Highbury for the sake of marrying a man whom I could never admit as an acquaintance of my own! I wonder you should think it possible for me to have such feelings. I assure you mine are very different. I must think your statement by no means fair. You are not just to Harriet's claims. They would be estimated very differently by others as well as myself; Mr. Martin may be the richest of the two, but he is undoubtedly her inferior as to rank in society. The sphere in which she moves is much above his. It would be a degradation."

"A degradation to illegitimacy and ignorance, to be married to a respectable, intelligent gentleman-farmer!"

"As to the circumstances of her birth, though in a legal sense she may be called Nobody, it will not hold in common sense. She is not to pay for the offence of others, by being held below the level of those with whom she is brought up. -- There can scarcely be a doubt that her father is a gentleman -- and a gentleman of fortune. Her allowance is very liberal; nothing has ever been grudged for her improvement or comfort. That she is a gentleman's daughter, is indubitable to me; that she associates with gentlemen's daughters, no one, I apprehend, will deny. She is superior to Mr. Robert Martin."

Please notice the words in BOLD. They indicate the qualities to consider in a marriage partner, and I might add, in those days. Those qualities may have some relevance for today also. I leave it for you to determine.

Linda the Librarian

Pic: Toni Collette as Harriet Smith, from Flickr

Friday, 4 June 2010

Jane Austen Quote of the Week - Week 111

I have chosen a quote from one of the letters Jane wrote to Cassandra. This one was written on Thursday April 18th 1811.
I think it is one of the great examples of the robust, loving and nurturing relationship that they shared. I also like the audacious attitude of Jane at the beginning of the quote.

"I am sorry to tell you that I am getting very extravagant, and spending all my money, and, what is worse for you, I have been spending yours too; for in a linendraper's shop to which I went for checked muslin, and for which I was obliged to give seven shillings a yard, I was tempted by a pretty-coloured muslin, and bought ten yards of it on the chance of your liking it; but, at the same time, if it should not suit you, you must not think yourself at all obliged to take it; it is only 3s. 6d. per yard, and I should not in the least mind keeping the whole."

Pic: Cassandra and Jane in Becoming Jane