Sunday, August 09, 2009

My Current Read: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen

I am presently reading the restoration of Jane Austen's classic work. Unfortunately, when Jane Austen tried to publish her first zombie novel in 1813, her publisher refused until she removed every iota of the undead from it. It thus became a stripped and empty novel, boring many a high school and college student because it appeared to be merely a tale of upper class twits spending their idle days gossiping and falling in and out of puppy love.

Until scholar Seth Grahame-Smith restored the text from the original manuscript, this tedious babble would have forever blighted Austen's reputation. Now we have Pride and Prejudice as it was originally intended: a tale of expert warrior women, cutting a path across zombie-infested England while falling in and out of puppy love with upper class twits.

Here's a selection:

As she pronounced these words, Mr. Darcy changed colour; but the emotion was short, for Elizabeth presently attacked with a series of kicks, forcing him to counter with the drunken washerwoman defense. She spoke as they battled:

"I have every reason in the world to think ill of you. No motive can excuse the unjust and ungenerous part you acted there. You dare not, you cannot deny, that you have been the principal, if not the only means of dividing them from each other."

One of the kicks found its mark, and Darcy was sent into the mantlepiece with such force as to shatter its edge. Wiping the blood from his mouth, he looked at her with a smile of affected incredulity.

"Can you deny that you have done it?" she repeated.

With assumed tranquility he then replied, "I have no wish of denying that I did everything in my power to separate my friend from your sister, or that I rejoice in my success. Toward him I have been kinder than towards myself."

1 comment:

Jeff the Baptist said...

I've heard that Austen's novels are wry literary commentaries on the Sentimental Novel form popular around the turn of the 19th century. My own experience is that they're far too dry for me to enjoy.

I must say that the restored version is interesting. If there is anything Jane Austen really needs it's ninjas, kung fu, and the undead.