Archives for December 2009
Lots of pictures here from the 2009 Jane Austen Ball. Which is exactly what it sounds like. Thanks, Lisa!
From the review: “This isn’t a good comic. Not at all.”
And yet, P&P obsessives (like us) will probably read it anyway.
What has made Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” so popular for nearly two centuries? Is it her elegant prose style, which is full of ironic wit and evocative descriptions? Is it the formal elegance of its social institutions, seemingly undermined but then reinforced by the novel’s denouement? Is it the perils of the Bennet clan? Is it the cat and mouse game between the feisty Elizabeth and the arrogant Mr. Darcy?
Most film adaptations think it’s the latter, and so does this comic book version, but the best film adaptations have what Marvel’s “Pride and Prejudice” lacks: vivid performances.
Available Light promises you vivid performances.
Playwright Daniel Kramer has been sharing a lot of his resources with us. One website that came i very handy is an archive of Jane Austen’s letters. There are literally hundreds to dig through, and they date from 1796 through 1817.
Here’s a sample, from October 7, 1808:
On Tuesday evening Southampton was in a good deal of alarm for about an hour: a fire broke out soon after nine at Webb’s, the pastry-cook, and burnt for some time with great fury. I cannot learn exactly how it originated; at the time it was said to be their bakehouse, but now I hear it was in the back of their dwelling-house, and that one room was consumed.
The flames were considerable: they seemed about as near to us as those at Lyme, and to reach higher. One could not but feel uncomfortable, and I began to think of what I should do if it came to the worst; happily, however, the night was perfectly still, the engines were immediately in use, and before ten the fire was nearly extinguished, though it was twelve before everything was considered safe, and a guard was kept the whole night. Our friends the Duers were alarmed, but not out of their good sense or benevolence.
I am afraid the Webbes have lost a great deal, more perhaps from ignorance or plunder than the fire; they had a large stock of valuable china, and, in order to save it, it was taken from the house and thrown down anywhere.
The adjoining house, a toyshop, was almost equally injured, and Hibbs, whose house comes next, was so scared from his senses that he was giving away all his goods, valuable laces, &c., to anybody who would take them.
The crowd in the High Street, I understand, was immense; Mrs. Harrison, who was drinking tea with a lady at Millar’s, could not leave at twelve o’clock. Such are the prominent features of our fire. Thank God they were not worse!
Let’s not give away too much, but suffice to say, if you comb through enough of these letters, you might come across some parts of Mr. Kramer’s new adaptation.
Daniel Elihu Kramer (playwright) was a Founding Artistic Director of Salt Lake Shakespeare, and Associate Artistic Director of Spiral Stage in Massachusetts. Recent awards include a 2007 Elliott Norton Award for Outstanding Production for A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Boston Theatre Works, and 2008 Critics Circle awards for Best Production and Best Direction for The Pillowman at the Contemporary American Theatre Company. His play Coyote Tales was published in 2008 by Baker’s Plays, and his commissioned adaptation of James Thurber’s Many Moons was produced in 2009 by the Phoenix Theatre. He teaches at Smith College in Massachusetts. Daniel earned his MFA in Directing from Yale School of Drama.
Also, don’t miss Daniel’s locally-grown film project, Kitchen Hamlet.
Big Pride & Prejudice quiz: right here.
Yes, we know it’s out there. No, we have nothing to say about it.
… Sarah Milstein (of programming mavens O’Reilly wondered aloud on the O’Reilly Radar blog recently.
Austen wrote more than 3,000 letters, many to her sister Cassandra. They corresponded constantly, starting new letters to each other the minute they finished the last one and sharing the minutia of their lives. From reading Austen’s novels, I’d always assumed that people in her era spent a long time waiting for the mail. But the show mentions that during Austen’s life, mail in London and environs was delivered six times a day. Sometimes, a letter sent in the morning was delivered the same evening. Which makes snail mail sound a lot more like email or twitttering.