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9 English 1100 B - march 12.doc

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EN 1006
Alison Halsall

English 1100 B March 12, 2009 Jane Austen Continued Pride and Prejudice and other novel adaptations  • She has become branded • A high cultural aesthetic that values: o Literature o History o Class hierarchy o An appreciation of irony and satire o Englishness o Dialogue-driven narratives o Repression of foul language and overt sexuality • Many of Jane Austen’s adaptations belong to a genre of film known as heritage film o To document and preserve past culture • These films are quite detailed in terms of set design in order to highlight the historical environment • Adaptations of Austen’s text have tended to remain historical and not adapted for a modern audience, hence the audience must place themselves according to the time of the narrative The Heritage Film  • Industry aims to preserve past glory of British culture and identity through recreation of “great” literary classics • To bring viewer back to re-imagined past that has turned into a safe, familiar place • Satisfies longing for a golden age of propriety, decency, courtesy • These films create a specific type of capital (cultural capital) • High cultural status of Austen adaptation achieved by claiming authenticity that manifests itself through location, costume and acting o A sense of nostalgia – looking at the past with a sense of (lost) glory  Specifically looking at gender relationships  A longing to return t the pre-feminist past  Back to gender fixed positions  A world where stereotypical behaviours are understood and celebrated (also dealing with social class duties) • Historical dramas perform physical and sexual repression 1 through and over-investment in the meaningful “look” o Intimacy is conveyed by touching a hand, close interaction, not overt sexuality • Have a distinctly asexual quality Eroticization of the Male Body  • “Darcy effect” o Suggests contemporary adaptation has become a license for visual/symbolic sexuality • License for female visual/sexual pleasure • Masculinity: English, aristocratic, white, heterosexual, Christian, asexual and romantic • Jane Austen has become synonymous with Englishness, satire, irony and greatness of English literature • Think about how Austen has been packaged in film
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