Message from the President

Article excerpt

AS WE READ THIS ISSUE OF Persuasions, most of us will have seen the latest film rendition of Pride and Prejudice, directed by Joe Wright and starring Keira Knightley. The new film was a box-office hit and well reviewed for its charming ensemble acting and spectacular scenery by many film critics. And it will popularize Jane Austen, as the 1995/96 spate of television and cinema films did, and as Austen-related films always do. But the 2005 Pride & Prejudice, as it is titled (and the ampersand is the least of the differences between novel and film), has been controversial for many members of JASNA because of its blatant departures from the novel. Anthony Lane's review of the film in The New Yorker called it Austen "Bronteized" (November 14, 2005), as did many of our members who saw the film in preview at the AGM in October--though some liked the film qua film. Stephen Holden, in a glowing review in the NY Times, praised the Dickensian lens through which characters are depicted (November 11, 2005). One wonders if he ever read the novel. How sad that the film was not seen as Austenlike. …