Isn’t it ironic (no, ironic is never the word) or maybe just shitty (THAT’S the one) that Jane Austen fought against a rigid male social structure to write books that are clever and well-written and about FEMALE CHARACTERS, just to have her work co-opted by not only every two-bit writer who wants a bestseller (I’m calling my first novel The Jane Austen Annual Bake Sale Massacre) but also, in this specific instance, by a DUDE. A dude named Seth Grahame-Smith, a dude who is well-meaning enough to be certain, but a dude nonetheless, a dude who successfully rips her book off and then has the stones to go on NPR’s Fresh Air and tell Terry that writing his own book was harder than re-writing Austen.
NO SHIT, SHERLOCK. I can imagine that writing a book from scratch and doing what amounts to tracing the whole thing have varying levels of difficulty! I bet Ms. Austen had to work very hard to hammer out a structure and a flow and a rhythm to the story, and you pull up next to that process in your giant SUV of male privilege and start plugging your electricity and water into it, taking all the work that Austen did to get the thing published, all of the work that made her writing world famous, and you make YOURSELF world famous. And then you talk about how easy it was on NPR, a necessary addendum to the telling of the story of this book. Austen would probably prefer the story of this book to be about HER in some way. But let’s just talk about you and your rip-off.” —
GarlandGrey gets it right on Tiger Beatdown. I hate hate hate those “Austen Novel + monsters” books. And of course:
We have entered an age of insecurity—economic insecurity, physical insecurity, political insecurity. The fact that we are largely unaware of this is small comfort: few in 1914 predicted the utter collapse of their world and the economic and political catastrophes that followed. Insecurity breeds fear. And fear—fear of change, fear of decline, fear of strangers and an unfamiliar world—is corroding the trust and interdependence on which civil societies rest.
All change is disruptive. We have seen that the specter of terrorism is enough to cast stable democracies into turmoil. Climate change will have even more dramatic consequences. Men and women will be thrown back upon the resources of the state. They will look to their political leaders and representatives to protect them: open societies will once again be urged to close in upon themselves, sacrificing freedom for “security.” The choice will no longer be between the state and the market, but between two sorts of state. It is thus incumbent upon us to reconceive the role of government. If we do not, others will.” —I worry about the First World War, I worry about the unknown unknowns, I want to work for the government, and I am adding Ill Fares the World to my serious reading list.