Sunday, December 6, 2009

Zombie liberation

Something has to be done about this discrimination against zombies. For instance, I'm finally reading Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, and in the novel it seems to be perfectly all right to behead the unfortunately living-dead voracious eaters of innocent human organs. Do you call this multiculturalism?

Would Jane Austen not have cast her keen eye on such a social display?

(Perhaps not: Especially in "Mansfield Park," where one of Austen's most sympathetic, esteemed characters makes his fortune in the West Indies, and so almost certainly makes that fortune via the slave trade in one way or another circa 1800. Perhaps Austen would have felt that zombies must also be discriminated against, politically incorrect as that might be today.)


OK. Actually, I was hoping "Pride, Prejudice and Zombies" would be a little more clever. But, hey, how would YOU incorporate zombies into the novel beloved as "Pride and Prejudice"? Perpetrating author Seth Graham-Smith, who gets a well-deserved second billing to Jane, imagines that a plague of some sort decades before the time of the novel had created zombies, and beheading the sorry staggering dead was the only solution. So the girls of Pride and Prejudice, especially Elizabeth, were well training in zombie fighting, although Mrs. Bennet was a lot more interested in getting them married off, preferably to young men with excellent incomes.

The book's idea is a hoot, but the joke wears a bit thin. However, I liked the "readers discussion guide" at the end, particularly the last topic: "Some scholars," it said, " believe that the zombies were a last-minute addition to the novel, requested by the publisher in a shameless attempt to boost sales. Others argue that the hordes of living dead are integral to Jane Austen's plot and social commentary. What do you think? Can you imagine what this novel might be like without the violent zombie mayhem?"

Hey, I'm trying to.

1 comment:

  1. Why don't you read the original novel, then? I do agree that the joke wears thin though.