13 Apr

Little did Charlotte Bronte Know…

Posted in Literature

…but Jane Eyre was really a vampire-slayer.

Jane Slayre by Sherri Browning Erwin launches today and I have to admit, I am amused at the premise.  I think I’ll read this book, even though I usually shy away from the vampire shelves at the bookstore.  I guess for someone who can’t stand the sight of blood, reading about it isn’t exactly tops on my list.  Still, there’s something about Jane Eyre kicking 19th century vampire booty that seriously amuses me.

Maybe it’s because I love, Love, LOVE parody, especially when the subject matter is one of the classics.  When parodies are good, they can be brilliant.  For example Clueless is the best movie version of Jane Austen’s Emma ever made; whoever came up with the idea of setting that story in 1990’s Beverly Hills… what can I say… sheer genius.

The danger with parody, on the other hand, is that when it’s bad it’s just awful.  Some authors or movie-makers who do parody stick too closely to the original story, clinging to it like a shipwreck survivor clings to a life-saver.  Repeat after me:

Parody is not cheap imitation.  It’s humorous reinvention with an angle.

Not to mention that parody is generally meant to be funny, the idea being that by poking fun at the original, the author makes a statement about the greater world.  The movie Ten Things I Hate About You, is parody gone flat.

What makes parody so great to read (or watch) is that, when done well, the author has such a deep knowledge of the original that the parody really sings.  Is Jane Slayer the good kind of parody or the not-so-good?  I’ll read the book and let you know.

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