Observation for Friday - Tactical Ninja
Aug. 4th, 2006
10:40 am - Observation for Friday
Following up Pride and Prejudice (yes, I finally read it!) with a cheesy haunted house novel by an unknown writer, that is clunky and grammatically incorrect, but dead scary anyway, is a fun juxtaposition.
Funny thing about Pride and Prejudice. The culture, lifestyle, dress, language and attitudes of the time are both foreign and a little repugnant to me (Get rid of your daughters by marrying them off? "Sorry my darling, I can't marry you, your parents are too poor and it'd look bad, what what."). The storyline is kind of predictable, and I'm pretty sure Mills and Boon writers worldwide have copied it mercilessly - Girl Meets Boy, They Don't Like Each Other, They Fall In Love Anyway, Circumstances Throw Them Together Repeatedly, There's A Crisis In Which They Both Redeem Themselves In Each Other's Eyes, Everything Ends Happily.
However, the people, and the insights into the way they tick, are relevant even today. I like the way there are no wanky pretentious flights of words, using purple prose do describe something that's complex enough without embellishment - people. The English is plain and to the point, and the author's observations of people and their ways are scarily keen (a bit like someone I know, actually. Anachronistic, or just destined to be an author?)
I wonder if that's what makes a novel a classic? That you can read it a hundred or more years after it was written, and find relevance? *cough* The other thing that it screamed loudly, is that you can change location, culture, all the things I listed above, up to and including century, and people are still people. All that Dark Ages, or Victorian, or 60's counterculture, or Stone Age, or Back When Jesus Was A Cowboy? Everything was different, but the stuff that goes on in people's heads stays the same. The happiness, the petty jealousies, the insecurities, the humour, all that stuff. People are just people.
So please, you pagan lot, stop romanticising the past. If you were back there you might be dressed differently and eat different food or talk a different language, but you'd still be thinking about the opposite sex (or whatever floats your boat) far more than you think you should be, you'd still go all shy and funny around someone you fancy, and you'd still have body image concerns and worries about people's reactions to you. There'd most likely still be gossip too. Only nowadays we have the internet and antibiotics, and girls wear corsets because they're hot. And you'd probably get arrested for clubbing some poor unsuspecting woman over the head and dragging her off by her hair.
I bet they laughed at farts in those days too. *nods*
As for the other book, how can two words (come inside), clumsily plonked in the middle of a sentence about something completely different, be so chilling? I don't know whether the author is a genius or just lucky, but it works. I'm still reading, anyway. And scaring myself silly. It's great.
And yeah, I know I promised songs, but ftp from work is Teh Suck Corruptorama, so it'll have to wait. Yay for Friday, too.