The Blurb on Other People’s Words – NaNoWriMo Hiatus

November 8, 2011 at 12:59 am (horror, Links, Reviews, writing) (, , , , , , , )

I’m still on my NaNoWriMo hiatus (working my way through Chapter 5 of my zombie novel set in Ancient Thrace, Sleep Escapes Us). So I’m handing the reins over to a willing volunteer, a fellow zombie connoisseur (well, now – thanks to my horrible influence, bwahahaha!), John “JT” Kalnay.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The Classic Regency Romance by Jane Austen & Seth Grahame-Smith

My first step in preparing this guest post was to read old posts on Chantal’s blog. I discovered that there was a lot of material concerning zombies. I’ve only written one ghost story, so I’m not very familiar with zombies, but I’ve written several romance novels and I am therefore much more familiar with Jane Austen. Surprisingly, some of my heroine’s works have been adapted by those more familiar with zombies. Apparently Miss Austen actually invited this adaptation because, in a letter to her sister, soon after the publication of Pride and Prejudice she wrote: “upon the whole… I am well satisfied enough. The work is rather too light, and bright, and sparkling; it wants [i.e. needs] shade.” The reference to “shade” must certainly be a reference to creatures from another realm…

Therefore, given license by Miss Austen, I chose to further my knowledge of both zombies and this style of adaptation by reading Pride and Prejudice alongside Pride & Prejudice & Zombies. There were a few profoundly interesting results…

Jane Austen wrote “it is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” The adapting author wrote “it is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains.” How exactly is one to reconcile these two uncommonly similar pronouncements? The first attempt to parse the statements sees a first substitution of ‘brains’ for ‘good fortune’ followed by a second substitution of ‘more brains’ for ‘a wife.”

Well, there’s certainly something to be examined there! The first substitution (brains/good fortune) is easy to follow and quite possibly commutative. It is good fortune to have brains and, in some cases, brains can lead to good fortune. Also, being in possession of brains can be interpreted as being in possession of a fortune. But the second substitution (wife/more brains) may be troublesome, and quite possibly not as commutative. For example, does a single man gain more brains by acquiring a wife? This supposes that a single man has some brains to begin with… Equally troubling, does a wife who acquires a single man exhibit any brainpower at all? To make the substitutions more similar, could the adapting author have written that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of something that would get half his brains when the inevitable zombie divorce happened? Or should the adapting author have been more optimistic and written that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of that one elusive other creature that could make him whole? Perhaps his “lost soul” mate? Hmmmmm….

Jane Austen also wrote “Mr. Darcy soon drew the attention of the room by his fine, tall person, handsome features, noble mien, and the report which was in general circulation within five minutes after his entrance of his having ten thousand a year.” The more recent author wrote that “Mr. Darcy soon drew the attention of the room by his fine, tall person, handsome features, noble mien – and the report which was in general circulation within five minutes after his entrance, of his having slaughtered more than a thousand unmentionable since the fall of Cambridge.” In these two statements slaughtering one thousand zombies is substituted for ten thousand a year. Having ten thousand a year in 1813 made someone spectacularly wealthy. How has the more recent author fared in this substitution? Has he undersold or oversold? What would a person who had actually slaughtered one thousand zombies be worth in today’s market? More than LeBron James? More than James Patterson? More than Warren Buffet? Would someone who had slaughtered a thousand zombies be equivalently wealthy to Mr. Darcy? Would he have an estate like Pemberly? LeBron James has a nice crib in Akron, and one in South Beach. But neither rivals Pemberly. I’ve seen pictures of Warren Buffet’s estates, but they do not compare to Chatsfield House. From all appearances, Mr. Darcy was likely one of the hundred wealthiest men in all of England, which, in 1813 was arguably the richest country in the world. So, would someone who had slaughtered a thousand zombies be one of the hundred richest people in the richest country in the world today? I don’t know.

Anyway, having dipped my toe in the murky waters of zombies, perhaps next week’s guest post will examine some of the writings of your regularly scheduled blogger.

-JT Kalnay, Author of The Topsail Accord, Mina’s Eyes, The Pattern, The Trade, and the Pattern.

www.jtkalnay.com

 

Okay, so while I have managed to stop laughing long enough to pick my side-split body up off of the floor, I had better take the time to thank my very humorous guest blogger. Thanks, JT, for a great review and I’m looking forward to your next guest post!

 


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