Monday, 2 September 2019

The naked flesh forecast for inshore waters

Sanditon – Fair – Buttocks – Mostly firm –  
Male – Mid-to-late 20s with occasional 30s 

In March 1817 Jane Austen stopped working on her novel Sanditon (previously entitled...
<GLOSSARY PC-value="0">
I know, I know, the trendy thing to say is "titled", but I use British English, and the social environment that that language evolved in is not the same as that of late 20th-early-21st-century United States, home of American English (and consequently of the style guides that seem to govern  most current academic writing). I've discussed this before, in a note to this.
And 'Spare us, O Lord' , from the gruesome 'titled'. ...  
...There is no question of ambiguity; if a person is entitled  it's a question of entitlement, but if a document is entitled it's a question of nomenclature. American English., with its egalitarian background, just doesn't feel it necessary to recognize 3 [designations of social rank]Two words/two meanings => one word for each is the AE rule. Fine: just don't force it (and thus your cultural background) on me.
... The Brothers). She had completed only eleven chapters, and died later in that year. But those eleven chapters mostly set the scene (fairly exhaustively), which made the uncompleted work attract much attention from potential (diachronic) collaborators...
if you'll permit me to rescue the word from our tinpot dictator, Bozo the Clown, more prrecisely Alexander Boris de Pfeffel the Clown  To be fair, I should admit that he – with his expensive education – knows perfectly well what the word means. But – with his expensive (right wing) education – he knows perfectly well the word's value as a dog whistle.

In Anglo-French matters collaborator has a nasty secondary meaning. One of the earliest  instances I met of this word as a term of abuse was in Marcel Pagnol's La Gloire de mon père; one of the characters was referred to as  "le fils du collabo" – with the abbreviation adding to the implication of contempt. 

.. .that is, they worked with her on the same artefact ,  though centuries apart.
<JUSTIFICATION word-choice="artefact">
I say artefact; I considered enterprise, but I don't feel that's quite right; they didn't have the same aim. Jane Austen's aim was to write a work of literature or perhaps primarily to exercise her wit (as, in her day, women of her social standing weren't expected [or even allowed] to do  much else in the way of self-fulfilment). On the other hand, Andrew Davies' aim was less literary
Which is not to suggest any kind of disapproval on my part. Sexing stuff up is his schtick, and good luck to him. As James Jackson wrote in The Times recently.
So far at least [HD: after one episode] it can't really be faulted  for giving an unchallenging whirl through Austen's world of love and money, marriage and class. It is a truth universally acknowledged that, being Davies, there'll be a bit of sex too. Perhaps, by now, it's in the old goat's contract to provide some sauce for pre-publicity purposes
But (I wish people wouldn't try to suggest that the whole sexing-up thing had a higher purpose. In the Radio Times Kris Marshall (Tom Parker in this version) is quoted as saying:
"The simple fact was female nudity was a lot more hidden away in those days, and male nudity was kind of natural. So it's completely accurate [HD:  it's not clear whether this IT is the nude bathing scene or the whole series] and Andrew Davies isn't sexing Austen up at all."
No. This doesn't follow. Davies is (without question, predictably, unashamedly, and admittedly) sexing Austen up; he's just using historically accurate material to do it.

But  now the second episode has been and gone without ruffling the waters of the Knowles consciousness, I have better things to be doing.


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