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07 August 2010 @ 05:22 pm
this *must* be what they mean when they talk about hordes of the undead, right?  
Because they just won't stop coming. Yesterday my best friend alerted me to the presence of Emma and the Vampires:

According to the first chapter (available online), Mr. Weston is a vampire, and the book has this to say about his appearance: "He had the pale blue-coloured eyes of a vegan who feasted only on animal blood."

Can I just go on record as saying that this MAKES NO SENSE? How can you be a vegan who drinks animal blood???

[ETA: Apparently all the men of Highbury are vampires, and--*keyboard smash*

I'm trying not to get all ranty here, but the author says in an interview (same site as above), "For example, Mr. Knightley observes that, when he gazes upon Emma’s beauty, 'I cannot breathe and my heart cannot beat.' This is mainly because vampires do not breathe or have heartbeats." This is...argh. Why does everyone who fancies himself able to write like Austen seem to need this tutorial? People in Austen do not go around saying things like that! I know that apparently in your head, they do, because you think Austen is full of soppy "romantic" nonsense, so this is supposed to be funny. But they really don't--and Mr. Knightley, he of the decided, rational, gentleman-like English, least of all.]

There is also Emma and the Werewolves, which has apparently been out for a while, but I was blissfully unaware of it until just now (unless, of course, one of you told me about it, and I promptly blocked it out in a futile attempt to preserve my sanity).
Gileonnen: One of THOSE Daysgileonnen on August 7th, 2010 09:24 pm (UTC)
Maaaaybe it's an attempt at a Twilight send-up? I hope? Maybe?
tempestsarekind: books and flowerstempestsarekind on August 7th, 2010 09:36 pm (UTC)
I don't think so...and it's apparently by the guy who does "Readable Classics"; his website says, "Readable Classics gently edits the works of great literature, retaining their original voices, to make them more enjoyable and less frustrating for modern readers."

That sound you hear? That's me, weeping in frustration. Because what's frustrating is the idea of a gently edited classic. I mean, goodness knows, you don't want to let all those pesky words get in the way of your reading.
Gileonnengileonnen on August 7th, 2010 09:38 pm (UTC)
Oh, goodness. ;___; I just--I mean, obviously when I was ickle, I read the Illustrated Classics, so I can kind of get the principle if one is four years old and intent on devouring all things book, but then I went straight on to the originals.
tempestsarekind: freema reading is sexytempestsarekind on August 7th, 2010 09:52 pm (UTC)
I really didn't read classics when I was younger, save in school; I just never made the leap, and I've often wondered why not, since I enjoyed the ones we read in English class well enough. But I don't really understand the point of reading edited versions; if you don't want to immerse yourself in the original language (assuming fluency, of course; if I want to read Russian novels, then I have to do it in translation, but that's not quite the same thing), then just don't read classics!

I find Henry James really difficult to read. (Well, for some reason the novellas are fine, but my brain sort of slides off of the novels.) This is annoying and frustrating, but to read edited James would really seem to miss the point.
Gileonnengileonnen on August 7th, 2010 09:55 pm (UTC)
I hope I didn't sound as though I was advocating that sort of editing! It's just that, when I was four and too young to know the difference, I did read them. Which wasn't a good thing or a thing I'm proud of, but just a thing that happened.
tempestsarekind: books and flowerstempestsarekind on August 7th, 2010 10:55 pm (UTC)
Oh, no--I just got distracted by a question that I ask myself pretty regularly. Most of my friends, English majors or not, were reading Austen and Hardy and all sorts in their teen years, if not earlier, and I never did (and it makes me feel rather pedestrian and stupid).

The other missing piece of my comment is that these particular edited books very much seem to be directed at older readers, not children. High-school/college students shouldn't be reading them instead of their assigned texts, and if it's not for school, no one's going to come knocking on your door, demanding proof that you've read Moby Dick! So I don't quite get it. Because when you read those versions as a four-year-old, you did get enough out of them to want to read the originals, so it served some purpose. I feel like a "gently edited" version that's done for adults is going to be read instead of the original.
Neaneadods on August 7th, 2010 10:35 pm (UTC)
There's "made understandable" and then there's "thrown in a blender until babyfood pours out." That's pablum, right there.
tempestsarekind: elizabethtempestsarekind on August 7th, 2010 11:07 pm (UTC)
I cannot understand! I'm trying and failing to think of a scenario in which "my heart cannot beat" would have the clever double meaning it's supposed to have here, because no one would actually say such a thing without sounding awkward and stilted and ridiculous!

As for "readable classics," the author's website features the first three chapters of his edited P&P. As far as I can tell, "editing" means "taking out dependent clauses," which a) are not that hard to follow; and b) are frequently where the humor, and interest, and anything that isn't basic denotative meaning reside.
Neaneadods on August 7th, 2010 11:59 pm (UTC)
Sadly, there are people who think anything out of basic denotative meaning is entirely extraneous. And then they wonder why people don't like to read.
tempestsarekind: all the world's a stagetempestsarekind on August 8th, 2010 12:04 am (UTC)
Ah yes, I see that a lot: "Why couldn't Shakespeare just say that, then?" Or people who use "poetic" like it's an insult.