Joss Whedon's Pride and Prejudice

Here is something that Karen and I do a fairly often (although perhaps not always quite as hard core as this). We will be sitting around chatting on the ferry or on an extended drive and we’ll get an idea for a cross over or a movie or a t.v. series, and we’ll pop culture chat it to death. It's all part of life am good, convivial conversation.

In this case, we got the idea, for reasons I’ll later explain, to cross characters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, with the text of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. The truly obsessive compulsive thing is that we actually did it.

Now, truly great literature exists to inspire. To give us the romantical sublime. To take us to the depths. And then like Dante, raise us up once more to see again the stars.

And then sometimes great literature can be led astray into something very, very wrong. Like Debbie does Macbeth. Like Batman the Musical.

Like this.

Now it may seem that two literaturish people should worship like pale supplicants at the alter of art, but you know, whatever… Sometimes good literati can go bad. Like Moriarti, but without the major crime syndicate. 

The Genesis of a Vision

Now you might ask, why Buffy the Vampire Slayer? Why Pride and Prejudice? Which since that is what I’m going to talk about, are pretty safe questions to ask.

One day, I was innocently reading the Buffy usenet, when I saw a fateful post. 

Someone was writing about Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. They made the interesting observation that this is the director who directed Sense and Sensibility. They then suggested that he ought to do a version of Pride and Prejudice, only with fight scenes. 

Someone, of course, then made the Pride and Prejudice with fight scenes = Buffy, which has fight scenes, as Pride and Prejudice correlation. They suggested that Spike was Mr. Darcy and Buffy was Miss. Elizabeth Bennet.

That was amusing, but then I read the next post.

"No, no," some fateful post said, "Buffy is Darcy and Spike is Elizabeth."

And it was like a light went off in my head. It was just so right. It was just so very, very wrong. 

I mentioned the post to Karen and as so often happens, we immediately started assigning characters and coming up with plot ideas.

And then we realized. Internet, e-books, 200 year old Pride and Prejudice, Search and Replace. We could do more than just come up with characters. We had the technology. We could make Pride and Prejudice worse, weirder than it ever had been before. 

And then we could read it. And then we could play with it some more, because that is one of the sorts of things that we like to do. 

So, we did and here is the product of our insane genius.

Now I should add the caveat that this is not intended as a shipper, oh, Buffy and Spike should get together, blah, blah, blah. This about when great literature goes bad. About the realization that Anya is perfect for the obsequious Mr. Collins. That it is hilarious every time Spike says Elizabeth’s lines. That there is something incredibly perverse about imagining Angel or Angelus as Lydia Bennet, confirmed flirt. That having men in the women’s roles is very interesting to read.

Also, this is a work in progress. Search and replace is not perfect, and well, we like tweaking it. However, as any tech writer knows, there are no finished documents, only deadlines.

So, if you are ready to experience something very wrong, well here it is. 

Names, Sources,
Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5
Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8, Chapter 9, Chapter 10
Chapter 11, Chapter 12, Chapter 13, Chapter 14, Chapter 15, Chapter 16, Chapter 17, Chapter 18, Chapter 19, Chapter 20, Chapter 21, Chapter 22, Chapter 23, Chapter 24, Chapter 25, Chapter 26, Chapter 27, Chapter 28, Chapter 29, Chapter 30, Chapter 31, Chapter 32, Chapter 33, Chapter 34, Chapter 35, Chapter 36, Chapter 37, Chapter 38, Chapter 39, Chapter 40, Chapter 41, Chapter 42, Chapter 43, Chapter 44, Chapter 45, Chapter 46, Chapter 47, Chapter 48, Chapter 49, Chapter 50, Chapter 51, Chapter 52, Chapter 53, Chapter 54, Chapter 55, Chapter 56, Chapter 57, Chapter 58, Chapter 59, Chapter 60, Chapter 61.

And if not…

If we literature geeks have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended:
That you have but slumbered here,
While these visions did appear;
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding than a dream.
Gentles, do not reprehend,
If you pardon, we will mend.
And as I am an honest obsessive compulsive,
If we have unearned luck
Now to ‘scape the serpent’s tongue,
We will make amends ere long,
Else the obsessive compulsive a liar call.
So, good night unto you all.
Give me your hands, if we be friends,
And literature geeks will restore amends.

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