Thursday, April 15, 2010

You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.

There was a lull in the television watching last night, so I took up a book as I am often wont to do. The Reverend peeked curiously.

"What's that?"

"Oh. Um. Well. It's called Mr. Darcy's Diary and it's...hmm. I guess it's Pride and Prejudice re-imagined from Darcy's point of view."

"So, it's Austen fan fic." Rev cuts to the point very easily.

"Well," I hedged. "Not really. I suppose not? It's..."

"...Austen fan fic."

He's right. I didn't want to admit it, though, and tried the very tenuous argument that it was published. It wasn't just on somebody's blog. Weak and untrue. Just because I was holding it in book form didn't excuse that it was a story based on characters previously created by a different author.

Fan fic.

I hadn't meant to read it. I often found myself in front of the shelves at Barnes & Noble, staring at a neat and offensive line of books using Darcy, his dear Elizabeth, and their cohorts. There's been something of a boom. I didn't cave until now. I read an excerpt, I wanted more.

I used to be very bothered by the idea of someone sullying beloved characters with their own twist; it's imposing on the original author's voice. But when I was MUCH younger, I realize that I didn't feel the same. Some of my first pieces were weak ass Stephen King ripoffs (including an epic sequel to IT...the person that I collaborated with this on knows who she is).

This is all leading to the question I pose to you now: is it okay for me to be enjoying fiction?


  1. As imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I suppose so. As an (unpublished) author, it's easy to see why the question arose. However, as Austen probably wouldn't mind, I guess the question should be, is it an enjoyable book?

  2. I tried to think of it that way, too, and I thought Austen might not mind. Maybe that's why I'm enjoying this one. It's pretty faithful and it's familiar. The characters don't do anything I would consider out of their boundaries. (I'm not finished yet, so I can't really say for sure.)

    Either way, I'm really surprised at how much I like it.