Etsy seller goes verbal
Recently, on a long flight, I watched Austenland over and over again, such a great movie. And then, googling Regency, I came upon someone’s home-made portrait of Colin Firth. Now, I have not yet ever been susceptible to Colin Firth’s charms, but I do get being so in love with someone who’s out of reach. And I also got to wondering how much fan art and fan fiction is out there, not Colin Firth pictures, but I mean real art and fiction that we DON’T KNOW was inspired by fandom. Austenland made me re-read Northanger Abbey, which I don’t think must be anyone’s Go-To favorite Jane Austen novel, but it was a lot better than I had remembered. And it’s fan fiction, based on Udolpho, which is mentioned repeatedly in the book. It starts out using high, florid, gothic romance language to describe this heroine who is anything but romantic, being an average, not quite pretty, daughter from a large, happy, middle-class family living in a country village in England. As the novel advances, the affected language falls away, and the heroine ends up, for real, in a sort of a bluebeard’s castle. Of course it’s better than the novel on which it’s based: it is Jane Austen, after all. (Alfred Hitchcock famously made a whole genre of films based on crappy books, and the NOVEL of Austenland is abysmal, don’t buy it.) But it’s just so interesting to see how this fan enthusiasm can be channeled, or should i say recycled, in art. My next art project is going to be a huge tapestry featuring portraits of great Darcys, just kidding but not really. This is going to be fun.
To prepare, I am reading what all of them in Northanger Abbey had read, and were talking about: Udolpho. Gutenberg.org has a ton of great books, all for free, including all of Jane Austen, The Mysteries of Udolpho, and The World’s Greatest Books of fiction, volumes 1-8.