Monday, January 28, 2013

Happy 200th Anniversary Pride & Prejudice!

Today marks the 200th Anniversary of Pride and Prejudice.  This book has stood the test of time, been adapted many times and is still an all time favorite.  Some people call it one of the greatest love stories. It's a love story that even I, the non-romantically inclined tomboy, love and appreciate.

For my favorite adaption I chose to re-watch The Lizzie Bennet Diaries.  To be honest, I'm surprised at the accuracy.  Little things that I'd completely forgotten and even thought were exclusively LBD are actually authentic Pride and Prejudice.

Here are a few examples:
  1. Everybody always describing Darcy as tall. Very true.  I'd never realized how much the book talked about his height. He must be gigantic. 
  2. Bing Lee showing up at Pemberley.  I saw fans who said that wasn't accurate because they thought that Bingley was gone until the end.  I'd forgotten about those scenes but apparently he shows back up and tries to casually pump Lizzy for information about Jane. 
  3. Charolotte predicting Darcy's feelings for Lizzie is 100% in the book.

There are lines of dialogue that are almost exactly the same as the book.  It's uncanny how precise they were with certain sections of the storyline.  Clearly someone re-read the book or had it memorized beforehand.  

Updating a classic is always a challenge.  The Lizzie Bennet Diaries team has done an excellent job.  They've managed to find ways to translate the problems of old England to modern America while staying basically true to the story.  For example, Mr. Collin's proposal is not a romantic proposal but job related.  Pemperley is not a fancy smancy house but a company.  

There are some things that haven't happened yet.  Lydia's downfall is coming at us fast.  They've expanded upon the character of Lydia.  Honestly I like the expansion, but from a completely textual standpoint it's not always accurate to the novel.  For example the Lydia and Mary friendship has no basis in the book. In fact the book says Lydia never pays any attention to Mary. Also it feels like Lydia in the Lizzie Bennet Diaries is somethings different from Lydia in the Lydia Bennet Diaries.  To be fair there's very little about Lydia (until the downfall) in the actual book to work with.  Gigi is also not completely book-accurate being as she's supposed to be shy. Does Gigi seem shy to anyone? Anyone? 

So like any adaption it's not perfect.  However as a modernization it captures the spirit of the book while staying as true to text as possible with the new setting and tie period.

Re-reading Pride and Prejudice was so much fun. It's amazing how relevant the book still is.  Everything from the slow building relationship, to the girl-on-girl hate, Pride and Prejudice is something we can all still relate to.  Maybe that's why it's lasted so long, not because Darcy is super hot (he is) but because the emotions and feelings still ring true 200 years later.  That is a feat not many books accomplish.

If you're participating in the read-a-long please post the link to your post in the comments.  After work I'll collect them all and put in the blog post for everyone to see.

Heidi from Bunbury in the Stacks did a re-watch too. Check out her post!


Heidi said...

I agree! The LBD isn't perfect, and they've made a few blunders and backed themselves into some corners, but in my mind that's to be expected in their first go at such an innovative retelling. I don't MIND the changes they have made, in fact, I think so many of them make the story that much more relatable to today's audience. It's also created a lot of new dynamics because it's told so openly that couldn't have been in the book--like Darcy knowing exactly what Lizzie had to say about him early on, Wickham being able to use the information in the videos for his own manipulations, poor Bing being even MORE hurt, etc. I just love it so much.

I posted about the LBD and watching the mini series again on my blog today! Here you go:

Catie said...

I loved seeing all your status updates for this re-read. It's amazing how faithful TLB diaries has been!

JezzebellJC said...

I haven't seen this series, but this post has made me definitely want to check it out. I love the book and the movie. I will be looking more into this to get a good fix into these characters. My DVD player could use a break from playing the movie over and over again. Jaclyn @ JC's Book Haven

Unknown said...

Well, I keep seeing this as an answer lately to the FF's and I have never read. Maybe I should just do it already.

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