Sunday, October 19, 2008

More Fall Break

Above is the trailer for "The Duchess" if you're interested.

Say goodbye to my fall break. :( :( :( Do you hear my heart rending into a million little pieces?!? The break has been really nice, even though I didn't touch all the papers I needed to grade. I did get a lot of reading done, ran a lot of errands that needed taken care of, and had lots of opportunity for rest and relaxation. I don't actually even know where the first two days of the break went, but Friday night Doc came down and we went out to dinner and the world's worst facade for an Italian restaurant! Seriously...horrid. I did finish off a book that night, as Doc immersed herself in a good book in the chair nearby.

Before I dive into a book review, I have to take a second to review "The Duchess," which Doc and I went to see Saturday night. We both love a good period drama, and were both really looking forward to this one, so we battled the soccer game mania on the streets of town (we have a new professional soccer stadium across the street from the theater), to go see this film. Well...what can I say? The costumes, hair, locations, homes, etc. were all breathtaking, and of course make you wish you could slip into that time period for a day or two, just to see what it's like; however, that's where the enjoyment all came to a screeching (and I mean screeching) halt. The premise of the entire film is basically about the life of a Duchess whose only purpose in life was to produce a male heir, regardless of the state of her marriage to the Duke, or should I say regardless of his relationship with every other maid or maiden on the planet? Gag! At this point in my life, and to all those who know my backstory, any culture that forces marriage on two people is pure CRAP. Once again, this film reiterated in my mind the pure evil nature of looking at marriage as some sort of business transaction, leaving its two bartered goods feeling empty and unable to find joy in anything except what they find outside their own home. I ramble. Anyway, it was say the least. Doc and I left the theater convinced that marriage is impossible, and that love and happiness are even more of a fairytale than we had previously thought. Sigh...let's hope the next "period drama" I watch doesn't leave me quite so depressed!

Having said that...let me segway into a book review that I debated whether I'd admit to or yes, it was a trashy romance! Okay, but here's the back story. So I follow a bunch of author and Jane Austen blogs. On one of the Austenite blogs they've been discussing how horrid all the fiction is that's been created about Pride and Prejudice. In my mind, it's a fine line, as one of my favorites Bridget Jones' Diary would not exist had it not lifted the plot from Austen. Well, one of the sites posted a brand new "romance" novel titled Seducing Mr. Darcy.

I happened to be heading to the library that night, so as I walked through to get my books on hold, I noticed that it was sitting on the "New Releases" shelf and picked it up. It sat here at my house for quite awhile until I picked it up on Friday, and finished it that same day. Yes, it's "trashy" and filled with innuendo (and not so innuendo), but I found myself laughing out loud and unable to put it down until I'd finished it later that night. The basic plot is that Flip, the main character, finds herself thinking she's dreamed herself a liason with Mr. Darcy, only to find that her "dream" has completely changed the plotline in the original novel. She then must solicit help from the resident scholar on loan from Cornell, British hottie and Austen know it all. As with any "bodice ripper," she and Mr. Knightley (yes, that's the scholar's name...and yes, it's a throwback to Mr. Knightley from Emma) have an undeniable chemistry. So, together they must try to right the storyline from the novel.

Overall, I thought the plot of the story was pretty funny, and a great approach to take towards the novel. Attempting to touch on such an iconic novel as Pride and Prejudice is pretty nervy, so I have to give Cready some credit at having done so without really putting the characters into the original too much.

Whew...what a mouthful for a blog entry! I'm actually hoping to finish Ana Godbersen's second novel Rumors today (the follow up to The Luxe) before I dive back into school to the point of insanity. Also, I'm about 50 pages into Dracula. If you're reading, tell me what you're thinking about it so far? I kind of like the writing style of Stoker and mentioned to the others that I like seeing good sentence construction. I know I'm crazy, but I think all those student essays have left me hungry for good writing and structure. Anyway, if you're reading, let me/us know!

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