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Old 10-25-2013, 05:04 AM   #61
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Perhaps my eyesight is failing me, but I don't see her name on it.

Didn't see that. Great, so I really don't see why some people are upset.
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Old 10-25-2013, 05:08 AM   #62
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Didn't see that. Great, so I really don't see why some people are upset.
Me neither . It's a book by Joanna Trollope. So what if it does happen to have the same name and general plot as one written by Jane Austen? People will buy it because Trollope is an excellent author.
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Old 10-25-2013, 08:24 AM   #63
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There was similar controversy about colorizing classic films that were shot in b&w back in the day too I think. Though the results of such varied with the choice of colors I think. I don't think the fad of colorizing old b&w films lasted that long though either. Most people seemed to prefer the films as they were originally shot I guess.
The issue with colorizing old films was that colorizing them meant you couldn't avoid the colorized version. If the colorized version came on TV, you couldn't avoid it, if the colorized version was sold in stores, that would be all there was. That displaced the original, while an adapted public domain version of a book will not.
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Old 10-25-2013, 11:55 AM   #64
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Perhaps my eyesight is failing me, but I don't see her name on it.

Good point, Harry. I think I'll read this book before having any more opinions about it.
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Old 10-25-2013, 12:06 PM   #65
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The issue with colorizing old films was that colorizing them meant you couldn't avoid the colorized version. If the colorized version came on TV, you couldn't avoid it, if the colorized version was sold in stores, that would be all there was. That displaced the original, while an adapted public domain version of a book will not.
My point was that the texture of the movie was changed by the colorization process just like modernizing the language of a book changes the texture of a classic book. The colorizing made the movie look bleached out (a real problem if it was supposed to be a mystery or spook movie) and it was a disservice to the atmosphere of the movies themselves (IMO) and likewise changing the text of a book from what its author intended does something similar I think.
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Old 10-25-2013, 12:08 PM   #66
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Me neither . It's a book by Joanna Trollope. So what if it does happen to have the same name and general plot as one written by Jane Austen? People will buy it because Trollope is an excellent author.
So all this time the argument has been like barking up the wrong tree? It's not about dumbing down Sense and Sensibility. What it may be about is plagiarizing it ? If one can plagiarize a work that is in the public domain. I've no problem with that.
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Old 10-25-2013, 12:37 PM   #67
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They can choose to (re)write whatever books they want, as long as I'm not forced to read it and the original is still available

To me the main appeal of the classics *is* the language used etc, and I can't really see the point of a rewrite but hey, each to their own

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Old 10-25-2013, 02:19 PM   #68
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Several people have compared this project to film adaptations, but I think a more apt comparison is to film remakes. They do those all the times, sometimes to great effect (Scent of a Woman, Ben-Hur, Heat... to name but three) and sometimes not (Planet of the Apes, The Stepford Wives, Get Carter...) but whatever the end result, I see nothing wrong with trying to update/adapt a movie or book for a different audience. The original will still be around, and once in a while the new version ends up having a lot of merit as its own work of art, or entertainment.
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Old 10-25-2013, 04:13 PM   #69
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My problem with this, I think, isn't the adaptations per se--because of course there are already many works that attempt to modernize and reinvent Austen--but the use of the same titles and the packaging (the Austen Project) of these as a set of Jane Austen books (even though her name isn't on the cover). Something about that just makes it feel like these are supposed to be a "new and improved" substitute for the real thing.
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Old 10-25-2013, 04:24 PM   #70
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Several people have compared this project to film adaptations, but I think a more apt comparison is to film remakes. They do those all the times, sometimes to great effect (Scent of a Woman, Ben-Hur, Heat... to name but three) and sometimes not (Planet of the Apes, The Stepford Wives, Get Carter...) but whatever the end result, I see nothing wrong with trying to update/adapt a movie or book for a different audience. The original will still be around, and once in a while the new version ends up having a lot of merit as its own work of art, or entertainment.
You are right I am sure. My feeling is that if I didn't like the original, why would I watch a remake? If I did like the original, why would I watch a remake?

Still many people watch remakes so what do I know.

Remakes of books are the same for me. If I already read the original, why would I want to read it again? But if I didn't read it maybe I would be tempted. Not likely, but that is just me. I would try the original first or not at all.

I think that the market for these books is educators/schools. Lot of educators out there who never enjoyed the 'Classics' and feel that something more modern would be easier on everyone. And I can't disagree, having spent some time helping an ESL student, 13 years old, understand Romeo and Juliet in pretty much the same language it was written in. Sadly at the end she was doing better than I was.

Helen
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Old 10-25-2013, 05:47 PM   #71
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There was similar controversy about colorizing classic films that were shot in b&w back in the day too I think. Though the results of such varied with the choice of colors I think. I don't think the fad of colorizing old b&w films lasted that long though either. Most people seemed to prefer the films as they were originally shot I guess.
Truthfully, it depends on the colorization and the film. Many color movies that have deteriorated have a bit of colorization in the restoration process.

As to B&W, I have the Fox restoration of My Man Godfrey. I've watched both the B&W and the Colorized versions, and actually, (to my surprise) I prefered the color one...
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Old 10-25-2013, 06:27 PM   #72
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Truthfully, it depends on the colorization and the film. Many color movies that have deteriorated have a bit of colorization in the restoration process.

As to B&W, I have the Fox restoration of My Man Godfrey. I've watched both the B&W and the Colorized versions, and actually, (to my surprise) I prefered the color one...
Colorization is an abomination. Ever see the colorized version of Suddenly, in which Frank Sinatra morphed into Ol' Brown Eyes?
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Old 10-25-2013, 09:18 PM   #73
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No, it's about modernising the language and situations. That's not at all the same thing as "dumbing down".
It is "dumbing down" because the operating assumption behind the series is that modern readers can't understand the language of the original book and can't use their imaginations to relate to the situations in the time period depicted, so it has to be presented to them in a way that doesn't strain their brains or cause them to want to learn more about a culture/historical period.

And the covers aren't even crediting the Austen work that they are ripping off?
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Old 10-25-2013, 10:15 PM   #74
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My problem with this, I think, isn't the adaptations per se--because of course there are already many works that attempt to modernize and reinvent Austen--but the use of the same titles and the packaging (the Austen Project) of these as a set of Jane Austen books (even though her name isn't on the cover). Something about that just makes it feel like these are supposed to be a "new and improved" substitute for the real thing.
It kind of feels like a marketing attempt more than anything. "Oh hey! Jane Austen is a classic and has enjoyed recent popularity! Let's somehow capitalize on that."

Austen's story is pretty timeless. And the theme has been "modernized" in many a romance novel with unique characters and settings.

I was asked once why "authors with books before cell phones don't rewrite their books when they kindle-ize them. Why not update the stories with newer technology?"

Because maybe reading a story in its original setting is okay? I think most readers can parse the "timing" and "inventions" of the time without needing to update a book. Not every book needs to be modernized. I am VERY certain that not every story needs to have zombies added too.

Edited to add link for those not familiar with the zombie Jane Austen:
http://www.amazon.com/Pride-Prejudic...+austen+zombie

Last edited by BearMountainBooks; 10-25-2013 at 10:18 PM.
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Old 10-25-2013, 10:38 PM   #75
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It is "dumbing down" because the operating assumption behind the series is that modern readers can't understand the language of the original book and can't use their imaginations to relate to the situations in the time period depicted, so it has to be presented to them in a way that doesn't strain their brains or cause them to want to learn more about a culture/historical period. . .
You said what I was thinking and you said it so well!
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