Can we please put Darcy behind us?

I am huge fan of Jane Austen, but get over her already! Perhaps I’ve been spending a little too much time at Barnes & Noble lately, but it looks like old Ms. Austen can give Dan Brown a run for his money, in the category of “works related to one bestseller”. See this sample from Amazon to see what am talking about. I’d assumed that some enthu pattani must’ve attempted a sequel, but never imagined there’d be so many!

This series from Elizabeth Aston takes the cake – she’s written a series of books based on minor characters from Pride & Prejudice. One of the many books in her series is about the daughter of the the girl Darcy didn’t marry! If this weren’t bad enough, there is this one, which gives Pride & Prejudice a Da Vinci Code twist (egad!), with shades of Possession thrown in for good measure.

What I really want to know is why B&N stocks these silly books in the Literature / Fiction section. Can’t they stick ’em in the ‘Romance’ section, so that the audience that is presumably interested in these books will actually find them, and the rest of us can avoid these things altogether?

Of course, the fascination doesn’t stop with the one novel or the characters in it. It extends to the Austen herself. A new movie wonders if P&P was “inspired” by events in Austen’s life. You can see why the idea appeals to suits in media – forget speculating about what might have happened to Darcy after he got together with Elizabeth – he could be real! The day is not far off when some bloke from England will claim to be the descendant of the “real” Darcy, and will probably get to be the next Bachelor or at least be on Big Brother.

We are all either turning into 5 year olds who don’t want to stop eating ice-cream, or we’re a society of obsessive compulsives who cannot let things simply be. The question is will we get away with a belly ache, or will we need to check ourselves into a psychiatric facility?


2 comments so far

  1. Falstaff on

    My personal grouse is with the way Pride & Prejudice always seems to take precedence over Austen’s other work. I’m a huge admirer of Austen’s writing, having read and re-read most of her novels multiple times, but my personal favourite has always been Emma, and I like Sense and Sensibility almost as much as I like Pride & Prejudice. For that matter, I find Mansfield Park more interesting than P&P (though less out-and-out entertaining). I don’t understand why Darcy and Elizabeth get such special treatment. I mean, when you say Dickens, not everyone automatically thinks of, say, Tale of Two Cities. Instead of writing trashy spin-offs to Pride and Prejudice we should be encouraging people to read more Austen. Hell, even Sanditon has to be more fun than some of this crap.

  2. DoZ on

    I also like Sense & Sensibility as much as I do P&P. As for Darcy & Elizabeth receiving special treatment – it’s not even the two of them – it appears to be all Darcy, which irritates me no end.

    Sounds curmudgeonly, but I’d rather have only lit-majors read Austen, than a wider audience, if after reading P&P, they’re going to go out and buy one of these sequels!

    Wonder why they don’t seem to have done the same with Wuthering Heights…Someday, we could have a horror movie style Darcy Vs. Heathcliff thing where the two men will kill each other off, and the rest of us can live happily ever after!

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