One of these days I shall have a lot to say about adaptation. Unless I burn myself out first on the paper I’m writing about Jane Austen adaptations. But I expect I shan’t, because adaptation is one of the few subjects I find endlessly fascinating.
Anyway, one of the more amusing review vignettes I found in an otherwise undistinguished critical essay: regarding the 1979 BBC version of Pride and Prejudice, contemporary reviewer Gloria Emerson “considered the story to be ‘slightly outdated,'” but “still found in it ‘a delightful reminder that women’s lives have improved’ in many ways.” Wow. Last time I checked, apart from superficialities, Pride and Prejudice is considered to be relatively timeless, and Jane Austen’s women are pretty far ahead of their time. Good thing Gloria Emerson’s around to put Austen in her antiquated, repressed place. /sarcasm. I wonder what Gloria Emerson thinks about the explosion of extremely popular Austen adaptations twenty years after her dismissal of Austen’s writing as “outdated.”