Donnerstag, 8. Februar 2018

Martin Amis on the Genius of Jane Austen (and What the Adaptations Get Wrong)

This essay originally appeared in 1998.
Jane Austen, as they might say in Los Angeles, is suddenly hotter than Quentin Tarantino. But before we try to establish what the Austen phenomenon is, let us first establish what it is not. About 18 months ago (in the summer of 1996) I went to see Four Weddings and a Funeral at a North London cineplex. Very soon I was filled with a yearning to be doing something else (for example, standing at a bus stop in the rain); and under normal circumstances I would have walked out after ten or fifteen minutes. But these weren’t normal circumstances. Beside me sat Salman Rushdie. For various reasons—various security reasons—we had to stay. Thus Ayatollah Khomeini had condemned me to sit through Four Weddings and a Funeral; and no Iranian torturer could have elicited a greater variety of winces and inches, of pleadings and whimperings. So one was obliged to submit, and to absorb a few social lessons. ....

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