Cynical Hopeless Romantic Reads Pride and Prejudice

I’m escaping reality to read Pride and Prejudice. I need a substantial feel-good book. It’s what she deserves

(Scroll down for spoilery commentary as I go along)

  • First and foremost, the ultimate way to enjoy Pride and Prejudice: Jennifer Ehle reading it to you. Just close your eyes and let her serene voice guide your imagination. You can’t go wrong with her accessible bite-sized readings of two-three chapters per video. These sittings brought me that same nostalgic comfort of being read to by your favorite teacher in third-grade.
  • “She is tolerable, but not handsome enough to tempt me; I am in no humour at present to give consequence to young ladies who are slighted by other men.”

oof, that never stops hurting.lizz

  • “He is just what a young man ought to be,” said she, “sensible, good-humoured, lively; and I never saw such happy manners!”

I wonder why it is that even with someone as kind as Mr. Bingley around, I still choose to favor Mr. Darcy. . .

  • “Mrs. Long told me last night that he sat close to her for half-an-hour without once opening his lips.”

Darcy is me at public gatherings

  • “Miss Bingley told me,” said Jane, “that he never speaks much, unless among his intimate acquaintances. With them he is remarkably agreeable.”

Darcy, representing introverts everywhere

  • “That is very true,” replied Elizabeth, “and I could easily forgive his pride, if he had not mortified mine.”

This line flows so nicely that I have to utter it along with the narrator

  • “Occupied in observing Mr. Bingley’s attentions to her sister, Elizabeth was far from suspecting that she was herself becoming an object of some interest in the eyes of his friend.”

Oh! It’s happening!

  • “But no sooner had he made it clear to himself and his friends that she hardly had a good feature in her face, than he began to find it was rendered uncommonly intelligent by the beautiful expression of her dark eyes. To this discovery succeeded some others equally mortifying.”

Crushes develop slowly and then all at once. It’s like the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon of becoming ultra-aware of something/someone. You start seeing them in everything

  • “He began to wish to know more of her, and as a step towards conversing with her himself, attended to her conversation with others.”

In the movie, Darcy asking Elizabeth to dance seems to drop out nowhere, but now I see the attention to detail, like him slowly creeping near her to catch her eye

  • “Indeed, sir, I have not the least intention of dancing. I entreat you not to suppose that I moved this way in order to beg for a partner.”

Oh, I like this

  • “A lady’s imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony, in a moment.”

Only when it comes to Darcy

  • “If I wished to think slightingly of anybody’s children, it should not be of my own, however.”

Mrs. Bennet can be named a lot of things, but she’s a fierce mother, first and foremost.

  • “The former was divided between admiration of the brilliancy which exercise had given to her complexion, and doubt as to the occasion’s justifying her coming so far alone.”

Oh, finally! I was in dire need to know what was circling through Darcy’s mind upon Elizabeth’s arrivaldarcy

  • “I am afraid, Mr. Darcy,” observed Miss Bingley in a half whisper, “that this adventure has rather affected your admiration of her fine eyes.”
    “Not at all,” he replied; “they were brightened by the exercise.” ”

hmm, really. . . .elizabeth

  • “He immediately offered to fetch her others—all that his library afforded.
    “And I wish my collection were larger for your benefit and my own credit”

Bingley is the only respite in this room of elites

  • “What a delightful library you have at Pemberley, Mr. Darcy!”
    “It ought to be good,” he replied, “it has been the work of many generations.”
    “And then you have added so much to it yourself, you are always buying books.”

Ha! Is bingley playing matchmaker for Darcy and Elizabeth?

  • “Is Miss Darcy much grown since the spring?” said Miss Bingley; “will she be as tall as I am?”
    “I think she will. She is now about Miss Elizabeth Bennet’s height, or rather taller.”

I see you, Mr. Darcy, dropping Elizabeth’s name in any conversation to catch her attentiongavin

  • “All this she must possess,” added Darcy, “and to all this she must yet add something more substantial, in the improvement of her mind by extensive reading.”

closes bookcloses book

  • “she had no wish of her recovering immediately, as her restoration to health would probably remove her from Netherfield.”

Interesting that this scene with Mrs. Bennet appears so soon after Darcy’s remark: “Whatever bears affinity to cunning is despicable.”

  • “I did not know before,” continued Bingley immediately, “that you were a studier of character. It must be an amusing study.”
    “Yes, but intricate characters are the most amusing. They have at least that advantage.”


Cue Darcy walking in

  • “But if it be only a slight, thin sort of inclination, I am convinced that one good sonnet will starve it entirely away.”
    Darcy only smiled; and the general pause which ensued made Elizabeth tremble lest her mother should be exposing herself again.”

he. . . smiled!gavin

  • “But do you always write such charming long letters to her, Mr. Darcy?”
    “They are generally long; but whether always charming it is not for me to determine.”

men who actually care for their younger siblings>>>cute

  • “Nothing is more deceitful,” said Darcy, “than the appearance of humility. It is often only carelessness of opinion, and sometimes an indirect boast.”

The page that follows is the most Darcy has ever said

  • I was reading some chapters by myself utterly lost in the text. So I ran back to Jennifer Ehle’s narration and suddenly all confusion was cleared up. She’s p&p magic. She makes the text sound like a movie, never like a classic book that you were required to read. She even has a voice for each character so subtly done that you don’t even feel it till you pay notice. (I love her Lady Catherine voice.)
  • “Elizabeth could not help observing, as she turned over some music-books that lay on the instrument, how frequently Mr. Darcy’s eyes were fixed on her.”

Oh, we know. Let me refer you to:

  • “and Darcy had never been so bewitched by any woman as he was by her. He really believed, that were it not for the inferiority of her connections, he should be in some danger.”

You start the sentence with a smile and then end with one of these:shock

  • “As for your Elizabeth’s picture, you must not have it taken, for what painter could do justice to those beautiful eyes?”
    “It would not be easy, indeed, to catch their expression, but their colour and shape, and the eyelashes, so remarkably fine, might be copied.”

I feel this most acutely in this scene:beautiful eyes

And can we talk a minute about how Miss Bingley is such a Regina George here, thinking that teasing Darcy about Elizabeth will reduce his interest. Mentioning Elizabeth just makes him think about her more. And referring to Elizabeth jokingly as “your lady” will just make him think about her more in that way, Einstein.

  • Mr. Darcy felt their rudeness, and immediately said:
    “This walk is not wide enough for our party. We had better go into the avenue.”

He likes arguing with Elizabeth but also sticks up for her? Get you a man that can do both

  • “and she removed at his desire to the other side of the fireplace, that she might be further from the door. He then sat down by her, and talked scarcely to anyone else.”

Jane and Bingley are unparalleledtaste

  • “I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of anything than of a book! When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.”

I can’t believe this brilliant piece was delivered by Miss Bingley, of all people, in an attempt to impress a clueless Darcy. I do feel rather impartial to her in those moments when she’s trying so hard to be in his favor and he pays her no mind. I guess that’s one theme that survives the ages.

  • “Miss Bingley succeeded no less in the real object of her civility; Mr. Darcy looked up. He was as much awake to the novelty of attention in that quarter as Elizabeth herself could be, and unconsciously closed his book.”

when closes book makes a comeback… it’s serious

  • “if the first, I would be completely in your way, and if the second, I can admire you much better as I sit by the fire.”

I can just imagine his smug smile…

  • “My good opinion once lost is lost forever.”

I can hear the echo of Matthew Macfadyen’s voice in P&P 2005

  • “He began to feel the danger of paying Elizabeth too much attention.”

it's about the yearning

  • “Mr. Darcy looked a little ashamed of his aunt’s ill-breeding, and made no answer.”

darcy x eI have to laugh at that! This mirrors the very image of Lizzy’s reaction at the ball when her mother, sitting right across from darcy, was boasting of the advantageous marriage pertaining to Jane and Mr. Bingley.

  • “she thought he looked a little confused as he answered that he had never been so fortunate as to meet Miss Bennet.”

and yet you appear to have separated them. In truth, I didn’t realize how much we could circle back to that conversation on humility and friendship. Bingley is influenced easily this way or that. It was foreshadowing! Like Darcy said if someone told you to stay a week you would without inquiring the reasons for and against! so the same with the jane situation. darcy advised against it and he didn’t think about it and was easily persuaded against her. darcy just said that he has an inkling that jane wasn’t as fully invested as jane and he didn’t inquire further he just cut his losses then and there without offering a pensive thought into it.

here is the original passage: “Allowing the case, however, to stand according to your representation, you must remember, Miss Bennet, that the friend who is supposed to desire his return to the house, and the delay of his plan, has merely desired it, asked it without offering one argument in favour of its propriety.”

I didn’t realize then that Darcy speaking at length for the first time would lead to being such a substantial moment that reverberates along the novel. Of course, it would.

  • “She had once or twice suggested to Elizabeth the possibility of his being partial to her, but Elizabeth always laughed at the idea;”

Twice now that Charlotte – who I now have to refer to as Mrs. Collins, what a shock -has been dismissed when her observations are utterly right. First, how jane’s impassiveness might work against her with Mr Bingley. And now, how Darcy is partial to Elizabeth. Charlotte is very aware of her surroundings. She’s no fool.

  • The Big Scene™ arrives, finally. All I’ve been waiting for since the start of the book. It’s my aesthetic:

If anything, I like seeing this first proposal, which is pompous and all about how he has struggled “in vain,” if only to know what the second proposal awaits. He will be much kinder. The second proposal will be about doing him the honor of becoming his wife. Instead of this moment where he’s like, it’ll be your honor not mine. He’s quite full of himself. Neither I nor Elizabeth appreciate it.

  • “I have been walking in the grove some time in the hope of meeting you. Will you do me the honour of reading that letter?”

I’m glad he didn’t wait too long to deliver his letter of explanation. It’s better to give it before she’s simmering in her disdain of him. Also, him thinking over their argument enough to write a letter is already a change for the better. Warning: An important distinction to make here is that Elizabeth doesn’t go into a relationship with Darcy hoping to change his bitter ways. He changes himself for the better first and then presents himself to her in the hopes of being accepted.

  • I can’t decide what’s sweeter: Mr. Wicked– ahem, I mean, Mr. Wickham getting exposed by Darcy. Or that fiery back-and-forth that Elizabeth spewed at Darcy… We’ve already discussed the latter. So let’s focus on the fall of Mr. Wicked Wickham.

“She tried to recollect some instance of goodness, some distinguished trait of integrity or benevolence, that might rescue him from the attacks of Mr. Darcy; or at least, by the predominance of virtue, atone for those casual errors under which she would endeavour to class what Mr. Darcy had described as the idleness and vice of many years’ continuance. But no such recollection befriended her.”

And this right here illustrates why it’s important when you “love” someone to know exactly the reasons behind it. So that when you’re offered a sudden twist to their character, you are able to recall those moments of kindness or goodness that made you fall in “love.” Otherwise, you were simply deceived by your feelings into thinking him the same man you made up in your head. Thank you, Jane Austen, for explaining it so fully.

“She perfectly remembered everything that had passed in conversation between Wickham and herself, in their first evening at Mr. Phillips’s. Many of his expressions were still fresh in her memory. She was now struck with the impropriety of such communications to a stranger, and wondered it had escaped her before.”

This says it all!! However exciting it may be to be approached so suddenly by a handsome man, the fact is that Mr. Wickham is a stranger to Elizabeth at that moment. If he’s so eager and willing to approach her, a stranger, then he might feel safe to do the same to another stranger even when they’re together.

This moment of discovery might be more worthwhile than reading Darcy’s professions of love. To suddenly look at someone without those rose-colored glasses creates a full 180 effect. I live for rare moments like these.

  • And this is how her good opinion on Darcy starts: with his love letter. Rereading it over and over. Imagining him speculating over what to write. Feeling his feelings.

“She studied every sentence; and her feelings towards its writer were at times widely different.”

  • If we’re being frank, I relied heavily on Darcy’s back-and-forth with Elizabeth, and of course, Bingley’s kindness with Jane. Without it, the book went by excruciatingly slow. I don’t care for Mr. Collins or Mrs. Bennet, or the extravagant house tours, dinner parties, and garden walks. Really, all I was seeking was more Darcy. Unfortunately, he was given to us only near the end.

Coming into this after reading New Moon (we all remember the pain with that one, my review title gives it all away: New Moon Gave Me Trust Issues), I was just done with having to wait for the love interest to grace us with his appearance. I didn’t have any patience left. However, unlike the Twilight book, Pride and Prejudice made the wait feel worthwhile. Seeing Darcy’s change of character was everything I needed.

  • I just have to say, it is so wonderful reading Pride and Prejudice when I’m simply basking in the glory that the hardships between Darcy and Elizabeth are left behind us. They’re actually enjoying each other’s company now! and they’re talking and blushing! blushing! ! !
“Of the lady’s sensations they remained a little in doubt; but that the gentleman was overflowing with admiration was evident enough.”
Oh, you can tell by that loving smile.

Let’s roll with the momentum so that I can share some of my favorite Darcy moments:

  • “They were confined for the evening at different tables, and she had nothing to hope, but that his eyes were so often turned towards her side of the room, as to make him play as unsuccessfully as herself.”

The tension! ! ! This is felt throughout the book. We’re so close yet so far away. . . . chris

It’s never about the grand proclamations of love for me, rather the subtle moments that lead to those big moments, like Darcy staying with Elizabeth when she’s distressed over family news, or keeping his promise of taking her uncle fishing, and of course, wanting to introduce his two favorite women to each other: his sister, Miss Darcy, and Elizabeth. And the simple fact of him awaiting to accompany her on her walks just to spent time aimlessly wandering together.

But the most romantic scene of all lives in this moment:

“If you will thank me,” he replied, “let it be for yourself alone. That the wish of giving happiness to you might add force to the other inducements which led me on, I shall not attempt to deny. But your family owe me nothing. Much as I respect them, I believe I thought only of you.”

He did it… for her! And then all it took for him to propose a second time is for her to just talk to him after all this time spent staring from afar. And I’m glad for it. We don’t have time to waste when it comes to these two. Oh, help, I sound like Mrs. Bennet.

Hearing this all play out with Your Hands Are Cold in the background is all I need.

To add to that, the true hilarity of what finally brings them together doesn’t escape me: Lady Catherine, of all people. She riled up Elizabeth. The two unite at last to ridicule her ladyship.

“Lady Catherine has been of infinite use, which ought to make her happy, for she loves to be of use. ”

It’s interesting that with these two introverts in love there must always be one to speak up to break their introverted ways. In our case it’s Elizabeth. Thankfully.

“You might have talked to me more when you came to dinner.”
“A man who had felt less, might.”
“How unlucky that you should have a reasonable answer to give, and that I should be so reasonable as to admit it! But I wonder how long you would have gone on, if you had been left to yourself. I wonder when you would have spoken, if I had not asked you!”

  • Also, the elephant in the room: Lydia Bennet, or rather Mrs. Wickham, is something else entirely. I feel like Lizzy’s speech for Darcy’s “selfish disdain of the feelings of others” is better reserved for Lydia. You can tell her age by her ideas of marriage. She sees it as nothing more than a game!

“She longed to see Mrs. Phillips, the Lucases, and all their other neighbours, and to hear herself called “Mrs. Wickham” by each of them; and in the mean time, she went after dinner to show her ring, and boast of being married, to Mrs. Hill and the two housemaids.”

She has no implication of what marriage entails and what it possesses other than showing off your ring, which won’t be so shiny in a year’s time.

“I am sure my sisters must all envy me. I only hope they may have half my good luck. ”

This says it all. Lydia wanted to win the game of “Who will marry first?” Wait and see the glorious men your sisters will marry… Her adoration for Wickham won’t last long in comparison.

“But you know married women have never much time for writing. My sisters may write to 𝘮𝘦. They will have nothing else to do.”

um, chile… anywaysnicki m

  • Let us end on a good note in praise of a most beloved family member: Mrs. Gardiner.

“It originated in Mrs. Gardiner, who, fatigued by the exercise of the morning, found Elizabeth’s arm inadequate to her support, and consequently preferred her husband’s. Mr. Darcy took her place by her niece, and they walked on together.”

Meet the original wing-woman of the 1800s:

mrs g

Ah! Speaking of the movie, I did post my immediate thoughts upon first viewing the 2005 adaptation. I titled it appropriately: You Have Bewitched Me Body and Soul, Mr. Darcy.

In need of more Jane Austen love? Scroll through my twitter thread below for more in-detail live-tweets as I was reading:

Thankfully, there are many gorgeous Pride and Prejudice editions to peruse. Choose your fighter:

Let me know if I did anyone’s English homework with this thread. Ha!

New Moon Gave Me Trust Issues

Going into this right after Twilight, I was begging and hoping I wouldn’t be let down. Twilight surprised me with how much fun I had with it. It was silly and over-the-top and romantic and problematic. All the components for a great book to live-tweet. Which I did. Along with a review. It brought me out of my quarantine funk and gave me something to look forward to, however silly it may be.

I realized when it comes Twilight you have to kind of leave logic behind, what with all the angst, drama, and you know, vampires vs werewolves. I was prepared for that side. I was not prepared for New Moon. Oh, how I wish I would’ve been prepared for New Moon.

Buckle in for the journey that is the second book in the Twilight series. True to form, it contained all the ups and downs. Read along to discover if there were more ups than downs. It began innocently enough:

Cue transitional music traveling back to the start

  • “Well, Gran, you might have noticed that my boyfriend glitters. It’s just something he does in the sun. Don’t worry about it….”
Hmmm, will this ever feel normal. . . .
  • I sighed. “Do you want me to watch this alone?”
    “No, I’ll mostly be watching you, anyway.”

The hilarity of them watching Romeo and Juliet together.

  • The info dumps at the start were driving me mad. they’re the equivalent of “previously on…” and I remember all too clearly what happened in the first book. . . I HAD JUST READ IT. Trust me, Carlisle’s backstory can wait to be repeated later on.isak
  • “But what would I do without you?”
    “Whatever you were doing before I came along and complicated your existence.”
    He sighed. “You make that sound so easy.”
    “It should be. I’m not really that interesting.”

Where is the lie? 1es2kmAlso: Good old fashioned relationship troubles with Bella and Edward? I relish that now, coming from the other side of this book.

  • Speaking of Bella being uninteresting:

“As far as Rosalie was concerned, I was an unwelcome intruder into her family’s secret life.”

And she is right. I low-key love Rosalie. She’s the only one to put Bella in her rightful place. In what universe is Bella adored by all vampires? In the same universe where she makes them runoff from their own home?meme

  • “Well, that’s everyone,” I sighed. “I can clear a room, at least.”
Read the room: you don’t belong with the Cullens
mean girls
I fear this will become a recurring theme. And meme.
  • “If I develop this film,” I said, toying with the camera in my hands, “will you show up in the picture?”
I forgot that the humor in this series isn’t all that bad. Though, I feel like Twilight had more of it than this angsty follow-up book.
Adding to that, I got to wondering late one night. Whenever Bella gets ready in the morning, Edward just sits there waiting for her to be done. Do vampires not use the bathroom or brush their teeth? asking for a friend.
  • Back to the melodrama, and no, I’m not talking about Lorde’s album. Unfortunately. We’re back to the same old same old:

“Bella, you gave yourself a paper cut—that hardly deserves the death penalty.”
“It’s still my fault.”
My words opened up the floodgate.
“Your fault?”

Even Edward is amazed at how she seeks to punish herself. That’s saying a lot.

“I’d rather die than be with Mike Newton,” I protested. “I’d rather die than be with anyone but you.”
“Don’t be melodramatic, please.”

This is where their age difference comes to play.

Also: is she going to repeat this statement throughout the book? We’re tired, Bella.meme

“I didn’t realize that you were capable of being reasonable.”
This whole “don’t get harmed & bleed or i’ll feel triggered to kill you because i’m a vampire” is getting worse and worse. There’s only one simple solution yet neither seemed reasonable enough to go through with it.sana

“The guilt made my head bow and my shoulders slump. I’d run them out of their home, just like Rosalie and Emmett. I was a plague.”

Yes! If you can’t dump Edward because you’re too attached to him, at least think of the people around you suffering because of your decision.

  • “When you say we—,” I whispered.
    “I mean my family and myself.” Each word separate and distinct.”

Does it have to be spelled out for Bella to understand that she’s not part of the Cullens?

ezgif-3-ad62df825b4eezgif-3-836d3744d257

“I won’t put you through anything like this again. You can go on with your life without any more interference from me. It will be as if I’d never existed.”

When this moment arrived I was astonished. And then I realized what it meant: F R E E D O M. If anything, I was glad to get a break from their daily quarrels that weren’t going to clear themselves up anytime soon. I was over the moon giddy, actually.

On the one hand, after spending so much of Twilight with Edward at Bella’s disposal, I was excited to see what she had to offer without him at her side 24/7. I wanted that character development. Save yourself in this one, for once. However, what I soon came to realize was that we either get an obsessed Bella going on and on about her vampire-boyfriend made of marble or we get a lifeless Bella moping on and on about Edward being gone. . . choose your fighter.

And then, it struck me. I had stumbled onto a larger beast than anticipated. Bella without Edward is… mind-numbingly boring. I was seriously contemplating skipping pages to when Edward shows up. The realization hit that Bella’s infuriating without him and she’s infuriating with him, but at least Edward keeps it interesting.

And no, the plot convenience of Edward appearing in her head was not working for me. It’s an obvious ruse to appease the fans. We want the real deal, not an illusion.

It has to be said. The truth can’t escape me at this point: I’m here solely for Edward and Jacob. Or at the very least, I’m not here to be tortured by Bella Swan. So I guess, good luck with New Moon. This is my cry for help. I came unprepared.

“The next few hours were agony.”

Is that Bella or me reading New Moon? I am desperately looking for the light at the end of a very dark tunnel.

At this point, it has to be said: Twilight peaked at… Twilight.
i said what i said
  • Of course, we all know why the author swept away the Cullens so quickly. Make way for our new brooding hero: *Cue the song Kiss Me in She’s All That* “The new – not improved, but different – Jacob Black.jacob black
  • Does this mean that I have to care about a whole new cast of characters now? I do not have it in me, Bella. We’re tired.imagine

I guess, anything to get out of Bella’s mind. But I had an inkling before diving into this book – I even wrote myself a reminder before opening the first chapter – that the author would ruin Edward and Bella so as to make way for our new – not improved, but different – hero (I’m having way too much fun with the She’s All That references). I literally wrote a note titled, “Things to remember in case Edward’s character gets ruined in the follow-up books.” The list wasn’t long, but still.

To backtrack, what I noticed pretty early on is that in order to enjoy Twilight I had to go into it with an open mind and zero preconceived notions. I just didn’t realize I would have to do so with each book in the series. So once I let go of my exceptions for the follow-up book, I could just let things run wild. Let the Cullens be gone for most of the book, who cares? Not this open-minded gal. Let a new cast of characters take over. I’m fine.i'm fine

You know, as long as I’m reading and being distracted from quarantine life, I’ll take it.

  • What is reading the Twilight series like? Reading this with a straight face: “Is that all? Really?” he interrupted me, a smile breaking across his face. “You’re just scared because I’m a murderer? That’s the only reason?”

side eye

  • “Can you stay out of trouble for one hour?” she asked skeptically. Then, before I could answer, she held up one finger and closed her eyes. Her face went smooth and blank for a few seconds.”

How hopeless is Bella? Alice has to actually foresee the future to answer that question.

keke
  • I really thought Romeo and Juliet was just an innocent mention at the start of the book. Oh, boy, if only I knew.

honey

  • “I watched the figures moving across the little screen, but I couldn’t even tell if the movie was supposed to be a romance or a horror film.”

This reads like a review of Twilight.

  • The race to get to the Volturi was more fast-paced than the entirety of New Moon. Oh, but how convenient for the author to suddenly have Bella turning into a vampire be considered for the greater good so we can’t criticize her in the future.
  • Speaking of, I feel like the author made the book without Edward so unbearable so that when she finally gives him back to us, we’re supposed to be thankful and realize Edward carries the entire series on his back. I can’t figure out if that’s a genius move on her part or not.

I feel like I went into New Moon so naive, and by the end of it, I left utterly destroyed. I was, for one, not expecting Edward to be gone for the majority of it. I am still struck by that fact. It definitely added to my trust issues. I have no idea what to expect now with the following books in the series. I even wrote at one point in my notes that I want to make fun of him, but I’m so Edward deprived that I don’t care what he says right now. What a trick! After reading Twilight, New Moon seems like its evil twin.

On that note, another complaint with New Moon that I hope to get resolved in the next book is that there are barely any intimate or tender scenes lingering between Bella and Edward. I went into this series thinking it was more romance based instead of being so heavily focused on the plot. I mean does Stephenie Meyer think I chose this series to freshen up my memory on vampires? Who cares about the Volturi? Give me scenes with Edward and Bella. Scenes where they’re not fighting for once. I just wanted that moment of sweet reunion to last longer than one page… I’m here for the romance is what I’m saying.

But you know as long as I’m invested enough to continue, I will. I just hope that as the series grows it will focus less on the history of vampires – because I don’t remember signing up for Vampires 101 – and give us more of what we’re all here for. . .

My in-detail commentary as I read along can be found down here:

If you’re looking for a distraction, be sure to snatch a copy of New Moon for yourself to reminisce or read along with me:

 

You Have Bewitched Me Body and Soul, Mr. Darcy

I wasn’t planning on making this post, but like with all the best things, Pride and Prejudice (2005) simply wouldn’t leave my mind until I wrote about it. Upon completing my first viewing, I have done nothing more than replaying the same scene over and over. When it’s not repeating on a loop in my headphones, it’s reverberating in my head. I’m talking about the unmatched dialogue within the clip titled “Last Man in the World.” The rapid tone of pace and delicate nuance put in the performance keep me utterly glued to the screen.

Tell me why I laugh out loud when I remember “Elizabeth Bennet needs to chill” from the After movie. I’ve never heard a funnier line, especially when I recall Tessa’s mocking accent.

Back to my original point, if I dare share my favorite lines I would include:

Mr. Darcy: “So this is your opinion of me. Thank you for explaining so fully.

The timbre in his voice when saying that phrase gets me every time. E V E R Y  T I M E.

And then, Elizabeth’s quiet rage summed up in one reply:

Mr. Darcy: Could you expect me to rejoice in the inferiority of your circumstances?
Elizabeth: And those are the words of a gentleman.

How have I lived so long without these two in my life? They completely reshaped my entire view on romance. Classics know how to make you pay attention to every little detail. Nothing can go unnoticed. The way the hands are placed, the glances that are shared or avoided, following them with your eyes, the longing, the yearning, the daydreaming… All of it! It’s everything I love.

I’ll admit that after completing the film, I went to the book and simply read all of the scenes with Mr. Darcy. It begs the question, does it count as reading when all you do is search for Mr. Darcy in the pages… The book gave me perfect clarity into his inner thoughts when on-screen he might appear passive. So when reading, I felt like Lizzie shouting “Oh, I was so wrong. He’s anything but unkind!” (When he realizes his wrongdoings and corrects them accordingly.)

Honestly, Mr. Darcy made me realize that you really need to pay attention when you develop feelings for someone. There are these tiny signals with certain people that if you don’t pay attention to you simply won’t catch. On the one hand, it’s exhausting to overanalyze their every move. On the other hand, it feels euphoric when you catch their eyes.

Plus, similar to what I paid attention to in Chekhov’s “The Kiss,” Classics made me realize just how timeless the topic of love appears. I can catch myself reading and thinking, “I do that!” For instance, the tug of war you have with yourself over their voice in your head… Or, vowing to move on: “If he does not come to me, then,” said she, “I shall give him up for ever.” Then the meme of pretend shock when he falls silent around you…

And then the overthinking consumes: is he intimidated or simply not interested? Do you never feel their eyes on you because they’re subtle when they look or because they simply don’t look? How frustrating, or in the words of Austen, “If he no longer cares for me, why silent? Teasing, teasing, man! I will think no more about him.”

I rejoiced in that particular moment after they’d confessed their feelings and could simply look back on all those times they were silent near each other and pick each other’s brain as to what they were thinking. It grants so much clarity… in hindsight. Oh, if only… Frankly, I don’t know what petrifies me more, being in a real relationship or the idea of never being in one.

“What made you so shy of me, when you first called, and afterwards dined here? Why, especially, when you called, did you look as if you did not care about me?”
“Because you were grave and silent, and gave me no encouragement.”
“But I was embarrassed.”
“And so was I.”
“You might have talked to me more when you came to dinner.”
“A man who had felt less, might.”

What a brilliant last line. How interesting that it’s harder to talk to people we’re keen on than people we aren’t into. That’s one theme I took constant comfort in within this book.

I’ve shared more of my favorite quotes on my twitter (@bookspoils), and I have to share them anew here:

I do hope this will quiet their colorful voices in my head in the meantime. If not, I need to fill up my brain with more of Austen’s words. Let me know what your favorite Jane Austen romance is. What are your recommendations?

Check out Pride and Prejudice and more Jane Austen works through my Amazon Affiliate: