I’ve always really liked the story of Pride and Prejudice, but heretofore reading it was a little ambitious for me. With it’s stilted phrasing and long, looong speeches, I never could quite seem to read it all before moving on to a Western or a Star Trek novel.
I only got a good sense of the story from the old movie with Laurence Olivier and Greer Garson. Well casted and well acted, it’s in the top 10 of my favorite films. Also, PBS recently ran a new version during its Jane Austen film series. I don’t know the actors, but it was very good as well and had a little more depth than the 1939 version.
Well, I finally found a way to READ and enjoy Pride and Prejudice recently. There’s an online service called Booklit that allows you to read a book by e-mail. Each weekday, they send another portion of the book equivalent to what one can read in about five minutes. Perfect for my easily distracted brain.
A moment ago, I finished reading the 77th installment in a series of 149. Halfway through! Reflecting on these last couple of installments, I found myself enjoying them a lot more … almost savoring them. Granted, they were the emotional scenes when Darcy proposes to Elizabeth, against his better judgment, to which Elizabeth replies “get lost.” But there was more color there. I could hear their voices. Imagine the setting.
Without my realizing it, just BEING here among the streets and accents and structures here in London made small parts of the story suddenly explode with color in my mind.
It’s interesting to consider how important a sense of time and place are to a story. Indeed, my most favorite books feature those concepts as uncredited characters. But there must be something about being present in those settings that enlivens the story so much more.
I think that’s why heritage values are so important to me. All of our lives are stories. And when I see or touch something that has managed to stretch through and beyond the lives of us mere mortals, it’s some sort of affirmation that’s beyond my thinking to define.
I’m thinking objects but books definitely fit that category as well. Pride and Prejudice was written how long ago? And yet, someone like me can still experience it thanks to the talent of a writer and the value a society placed on preserving its context. Maybe I’ll have to put together a travel guide based on my favorite book list!