There are many negative opinions out there in the technological ether that is the internet. But I cannot resist untangling, in a systematic and logical way while citing examples and certain ‘proof’ as well, of this defamation on the written word. This abomination masquerading as a novel.
Novels were deemed to be lower literature and considered an apt pastime for bored ladies awaiting their Mr. Darcy. I like to imagine, however, that Jane Austen would tear E.L James a new one, verbally of course, but physical violence may occur, highly recommended and condoned by myself in this particular case, when words just don’t hurt enough. I promise that will be the last purely spiteful thing I will write, and wish (okay, that was the last), upon this authoress.
In my next post I will provide data that support my arguments. I will delve into a few choice opinions of my own that I have of James’ contributions.
These include how she is dragging the novel back to times where, being mostly written by women, were looked down upon as inferior and of no consequence for the reader seeking enlightenment about the human condition. I will be using Austen as supporting evidence to highlight how good writing and even the concept of the novel has been damned. The novel and the eventual acceptance and high praise of this unique medium where the reader can experience development of the character. Again, I can’t help but think even Elizabeth Bennet, transported through time, with her Regency England sensibilities intact, to modern day Washington D.C, couldn’t resist openly mocking poor, University educated Anastasia who wouldn’t know what hit her and leave her mouth in its customary ‘popped out’ position. (Can someone enlighten us with how a mouth is able to ‘pop out’. Because all I see is a set of false teeth flying across the room after being spat out by a bemused geriatric who has just read through the first paragraph of Fifty Shades.)
There are issues with feminine portrayal that I will demonstrate by using a comparison between the way Austen fleshes out the character of Lizzy and the way James caricatures Ana and the rest of her cast. That will be fun.
But how can you compare, let alone put Austen and James in the same sentence, you might ask? Well, James started it. She blundered to include the words ‘classic’, ‘English’ and ‘novel’ together. So all is fair… Etc.
Let me preface this final paragraph by saying it is not borne from conceit. I will present scores of readability based on Flesch Kincaid, the Gunning Fog index and the SMOG (simplified measure of gobbledygook) index. These purely mathematical formulae do not take into account vocabulary used or quality of the story, but is simply used as a measure of how readable and understandable a piece of writing is. The piece of writing I have compared scores with was written by me.
More complications arise if we contemplate quality of writing and I refuse to neither appear the snob or disgraced over the fact James is published and I am not. So only the scores of the opening passages of both stories will be shown. Can you guess who scored higher on readability and universal understanding?
So, please be forewarned, if you are a fan of this fan fiction, this post is merely a prelude to the utter shattering I plan to unleash in my next post…in the most logical way possible, of course.