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Sunday, August 05, 2007

Un-Becoming Jane

A Satire in Four Acts...


Act I

[The Austen House Longbourn]

Jane LIZZY Austen Bennett:

Tralalala! I am a young lady full of vigor and I play the pianoforte very ill at odd hours of the morning. I am overfond of scribbling adjectives and I enjoy solitary rambles through the woods. In short, I am a mass of quivering, unexplored sexuality. For it is a truth universally acknowledged that a single woman full of spirit and intelligence must be in want of a man.


Mrs. AUSTENBennett

Our young Jane becomes too spunky, I fear. And our financial straits are dire. She must be sold off to the highest bidder immediately!

MR. AUSTENBennett:

I would not have her young life interrupted by a marriage to a shrewish mercenary harridan. Oh, I beg your pardon m'am, I believe I speak of myself.

Cassandra Jane Bennett:

I am an underdeveloped and useless prop--but you ought to have seen me in Bleak House and North and South. My performances in those classics of our time would put that upstart American hussy Ms. Hathaway to shame.


Act II
[Birnam Wood]

Jane Austen:

The scene has been set. I will now go for a walk in the woods and heave my bosom. For it is a truth universally acknowledged that such a scene is an easy substitute for intelligent film-making.

Tom "not quite Darcy" Lefroy:

These woods are awfully muddy. God, I miss my whoring and gambling. Oho, look who it is! The "writer" chick with the"big, ripe, sensual features — that giant strawberry of a mouth —" and the nice rack.

Jane Austen:

Despite my prodigious talent, my budding genius, and my formidable wit, I am vastly intimidated by your literary critique because you are a most agreeable--a most happily-endowed--what I'm trying to say is, you're hot. And it is a truth universally acknowledged that even the most brilliant woman is speechless in front of ...

Tom:

Your stories need more boning, you dig? More horizontal rhumba. More fornication.

Jane:

My luscious cherry lips are agape.

Tom:

Let me read you this passage about birds fucking. Now let me lend you Tom Jones. This book justifies my promiscuity, so it is very important to me. Do you think I do a good Albert Finney?

Jane:

What? My entire world has turned upside down. For indeed, what young lady could possibly know anything about teh sex with out the aid and experience of a MAN?



Act III

[Longbourn Austen-Manor]
Minor characters:

Please give us some delineation!

Maggie Judy Smith Dench:

Hello Austen! I am a cruel and haughty and one-dimensional snob, but I do lament that it is my misfortune to not be very funnym either. Miss Austen, there's a prettyish sort of wilderness over there.

Jane:

Stop! I must take a moment to crib your writing in a cheap gesture towards my observational talent. [writes it down] Okay, done! Heave, bosom, heave.

Dullard suitor:

Jane, I am a dullard, but I have a spark of wit. I am an entirely unexplained and somewhat bizzarre character. Will you marry me?

Jane

I thank you for your offer, but I will not. For the love of crossing, err, verbal swords with Mr. Lefroy has surpassed all other desires on my part.


Act IV:


Tom Lefroy:

Jane! I am undone by my irritating and irrelevant proclivity for stripping and fighting other men. Can you possibly forgive me?

Jane:

Depends. Will you make out with me?

Tom LeFroy:

With all my heart. But... Jane! Teh Money! We don't have any.

Jane's sister-in-law-to-be:

The handsome men must have something to live upon as well as the plain ones.

Jane:
Nice one! [writes it down] I begin to suspect something however. How come everyone around me is so clever and I am only given platitudes to utter?

Tom:

Jane, Jane, despite your strange penchant for teh writing, I adore you. Let's get married.
...
...
...
psych!

Jane:

Cad! What do you expect me to do now... write? Ahahahahahahahah! I'm a woman! And I'm supposed to write. Ahahahahahaha this is hilarious... but also really, really, tragic.

Tom:

Jane, dearest, you make a good point. Screw my inflexible brute of an uncle. I'm serious, let's get married.

Jane:

Okay, let's elope.
...
...
...
Psych!

Tom:

[pouts]

Jane:

Adios, Tom. I suppose I shall never be mistress of Pemberley now.

Tom:

Pemberly? What the Deuce are you talking about?

Jane:

Calm yourself, Mr. Darcy. This only alleviates any regret I'd feel had you behaved in a more gentlemanlike manner. You are the last man on earth whom I can ever marry! (Hey, finally, I'm saying lines from my own book. This rox.) [writes it down]

Tom:

Wot? I thought the whole point was you liked me because I am not a gentleman. I feel terribly bewildered. Aren't you a predictable woman with a bad boy complex? And who's this Darcy fellow? Are you cheating on me?

Jane:

Darcy is the main character from Pride and Prejudice, the only book the filmmakers bothered reading I ever wrote.

Tom:

Jane dearest, I do you must stop talking about these book thingamajigs. Remember the rules: we must condescend to our predictable and stupid female audience. Therefore, you are to limit the literary references if you please.

Jane:

Oh, fine. One last make-out session?

Epilogue:

Anne Radcliffe:

I am haunted by the horror of being a woman who writes novels.

Jane:

Don't worry, Anne. I admire you and I would never write a book-length parody of anything you wrote. That's a promise. For it is a truth universally acknowledged that all women's literary history is a rich minefield for patriarchal, capitalist exploitation.

Anne:

You mean to lure 20something women into the movies?

Jane:

For what do we exist but to make sport of lazy, sexist film-makers, and be horribly misread by them in our turn?

9 comments:

  1. HA!
    That's awesome.

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  2. though we've never met, i'm officially in love with you and your blog! (and to think i *almost* caved in and went to see that movie...)

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  3. Awww! Thanks. Yeah, the movie was so bad that it wasn't even fun to stay in the theater and mock it.

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  4. I also thought it was bad, for all the reasons above. Good for you.

    But I still adore James Mcavoy. At least we got to see his bum again.

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  5. Brilliant brilliant brilliant.

    So much so, that I had to link and share.

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  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  7. Anonymous9:27 AM

    It's hilarious - thankyou so much! I promise to make everyone I know read it...

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  8. This was great. I especially oncur with Cassandra's lament: "I am an underdeveloped and useless prop--but you ought to have seen me in Bleak House and North and South. My performances in those classics of our time would put that upstart American hussy Ms. Hathaway to shame."

    ReplyDelete