We are two part-time academics. Ellen teaches in the English department and Jim in the IT program at George Mason University.

Bridget Jones style -- cont'd · 9 April 07

Memo to self: try to keep in mind it doesn’t matter if you finish this essay on film adaptations of Austen’s novels in time to make the volume proposed for publication. You are not doing it to be published, but for the joy of the work itself. Take the time you need. Re-see as many of the films as often as you need to! Read as many screenplays and sequels as seems right too. If not finished in time, try to send it elsewhere, but not to worry about it until then. And do not, I repeat, do not take on another project until done (no reviews, no conference papers, nyet).


Several hours later discarded boring title for one that emphasizes drama, tragedy, terror, horror:

“It’s the picture, the one in the gallery:’ Movie codes in the Austen films.

And a second possibility picking up on sly comedy:

”’I wish you had kept to Alice-in-Wonderland:’ Movie codes in the Austen films.”

My epigraph:

I believe in the detached approach for comedy. If you really look at anything, there’s always a comic note. A painful one. One brings the other to life (George Cukor, Cukor on Cukor).


P.S. I finally decided on the second title.

Posted by: Ellen

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  1. The title quotation comes from DuMaurier’s Rebecca:

    When Max de Winter first lays eyes on the second Mrs de Winter dressed in imitation of the 17th century portrait of Caroline de Winter over a stairwell high in a gallery at Manderly, this terrifying and tragic scene ensues:

    “What the hell do you think you are doing!’ he said. His eyes never leaving my face. I could not move. I went on standing there, my hand on the bannister. 'It's the picture,' I said, terrified at his eyes, at his voice. 'It's the picture, the one in the gallery.'"

    Earlier he had said, "'I wish you had kept to Alice-in-Wonderland.'" In context this is black humor or sly comedy.

    Daphne Du Maurier, Rebecca (New York: Avon, 1938):205, 213.

    Du Maurier’s book as costumed dramas provides a jump off point for Pam Cook’s Fashioning the Nation: Costume and Identity in British Cinema (London: British Film Institute, 1996):34-36, 73-
    Elinor    Apr 10, 10:28am    #

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