Tuesday, January 30, 2007

It's a Jane, Jane, Jane, Jane world

2005 was the year of Pride and Prejudice for me: I went through a phase where I read the novel and both Bridget Jones books, then watched both the 1996 Jennifer Ehle/Colin Firth version and the new Keira Knightley version, plus both Bridget movies. It was a thing. I was into the story that year. I like theme reading.

It's looking like 2007 is shaping up to be a year of Jane Eyre. She's everywhere! I picked up my copy around the New Year and have almost finished it; since then, several of my friends have also started, some of them for the first time. And then there's the new Masterpiece Theatre. Is anybody watching this? It's fantastic. I Tivoed the first half last Sunday and watched it in dribs and drabs over the course of the week; now I'm dying to immerse myself in the second half, though I might torture myself and finish the novel first. It's such a lush intepretation of the story: there's starkness in Jane and in the landscape, but the relationship between Jane and Rochester is all crackly and vibrant, and they've done justice to the creep factor, which only intensifies everything. Also, the production values and art direction are lovely, which is sometimes a sore point between me and the BBC. In all, wonderful. From here, I'm eyeing the handful of Jane Eyre meta-literature that's cropped up in the past few years. The Eyre Affair? Wide Sargasso Sea? There's potential here for a whole spate of Bronteian goodness, no?

Unrelatedly, my favorite band of the past few years--the Shins--came out with a new album last week. I never buy new-new music; I prefer to wait a year or so and then pretend that I've discovered something once everyone else is already over it (see: Coldplay). But I've been awaiting Wincing the Night Away for ages, and I downloaded it this weekend, sight unseen, and I have not been disappointed! They're so good, and this new album of songs is dark and blurry and thematic like their first album (Oh Inverted World), while also being tight and sometimes poppy and bouncy like their second album (Chutes Too Narrow). I get later Brian Wilson from them; also snippets of Abbey Road. We're bonding, this album and I, and then I think we will be fast friends.


Christine O said...

You're probably better off *not* reading Wide Sargasso Sea. Big. Fat. Yawn. However, I'm happy to lend you The Eyre Affair.

Sarita said...

I will echo Christine O's sentiment - I did not enjoy Wide Sargasso Sea. I had to read it for a lit class in college. However, I've never read Jane Eyre...maybe if I had, I would have appreciated this more.

Yay for Shins! Yay yay yay!

TiaMija said...

I loved the latest BBC version of Jane Eyre, too! Also check out the Samantha Morton/Ciaran Hinds version and the one with William Hurt.
Jane Austen is one of my favorite authors. Have you ever read Persuasion? The movie version of that, with Amanda Root and Ciaran Hinds (again)is one of my favorites. I really enjoyed the latest P&P movie; however, Colin Firth will always be Mr. Darcy to me!

Liz said...

Thanks. I'm sure I'll let you know when I'm ready for it. :) Also, book anti-recommendations are always appreciated.

Liz said...

Note to self: leave Wide Sargasso Sea. Excellent.