Friday, March 18, 2011

Jane Austen Rules!

 I starting listening to Austen’s Northanger Abbey on my iPod, but for some reason entire parts of it cannot be accessed, so now I’m relegated to reading it on my Kindle.  I love Austen's dialogue, it is so natural you know exactly who is speaking as the banter flows so perfectly. 

I can see Catherine Morland as a kindred spirit, her love of the gothic novel suits  me right down to the ground.  The novel of the day is Ann Radcliffe's Mysteries of Uldopho (which I really must put on my to-read list.  I once tried an appalling Libravox recording of it but gave up).

The characterisation of Isabella Thorpe is brilliant.  Just via her dialogue we can ascertain what a wishy washy selfish and indulged girl she is.  She makes out that she is concerned only with Catherine's wellbeing and has all the time in the world for her when in fact she only cares about herself.  She is very expertly realised by Austen and I'm sure we all know of, or work with, someone just like her!  Even Isabella's brother John Thorpe is a very selfish character who comes across initially as a lot of fun, but is ultimately too contradictory, loud and with only a limited amount of topics to discourse, becomes very quickly boring.  Once Catherine has spent more time with these new friends of her elder brother James' in Bath, she begins to see their failings and is very disappointed in them.

Romance looms on the horizon early on in the novel in the form of the amiable Henry Tilney, and his young sister Eleanor appears to be a more genuine friend for Catherine, although this friendship has a very rocky beginning due to the selfish interference from the Thorpe's.

As you can see, I am enthralled so far and reveling in Austen's writing.

I've also gone back to my love of horror and started listening to Robert Bloch's Psycho.  It is interesting to note that the character of Marion Crane from the movie is actually Mary Crane in the novel and that the self loathing Norman Bates is fat and wears glasses! Though he is still very creepy.  

I am however, very disappointed with the 'shower scene'.  Basically Mary was in the shower, noticed a shadow outside of the shower curtain, saw the butcher's knife which......"was the knife that, a moment later, cut off her scream. And her head."  Not a great deal of drama and horror there really - oh well!

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