Monday, 30 April 2007

Writing 'Becoming Jane'

I think I have to salute Kevin Hood and Sarah Williams, writers of Becoming Jane for their excellent ideas of 'joined the dots', as co-producer Graham Broadbent said. I do hope that they will get Academy Awards and/or Golden Globe for best screen writing.

Having said so, as an avid BJ fan and an addicted fanfic writer, I was drawn into writing Becoming Jane fanfictions, two of them are already posted in, under the titles of 'Countenance So Beloved' and 'Becoming Jane: the Vignettes'. Special thanks to Rachel Kingston for her lovely beta reading.

Feel free to drop in, read and post constructive reviews. I accept the fact that a lot of people will disagree with the premise, but please, when you do, write your reviews in constructive manners and discuss it as matured reader.

Pic: Jane Austen at her writing desk, JA Society of Buenos Aires

Becoming an expert in Wikipedia

And so it was that I spent half of my Sunday, trying to understand the complicated rules of HTML. Mind you, I used to hate HTML with all my heart. But alas, I needed to understand that weird concept to be able to edit 'Becoming Jane' in Wikipedia, for it used to be a very short article, and Wiki categorised it as 'stub', or incomplete.

However, I was very grateful with the previous 'stub' article, for hence I could build up more topics from the already available patterns and topics. So, with all due respect to the previous writer (Wikipedia is, after all, a free online encyclopedia), please visit the revised content of 'Becoming Jane' in Wikipedia. I still have to learn how to post a picture though, not enough pix there to show the grandeur of the movie (despite all the bashing of historical inaccuracy and inaccuracy of British accent portrayed by Hathaway, which I disagree the most). A full nod for my beta Rachel Kingston who has helped me editing the article, and here's to the hope that anyone who will contribute to the article do not bash our writings.

Having said so, I'm feeling pretty good now, being able to understand the...shall I say... art of uploading an article in Wikipedia. I'm planning to expand the section on Lamalera as well, a small traditional whaling village eastward of Flores where I did my masters.

Pic: Cover of 'Becoming Jane: the Wit and Wisdoms of Jane Austen', edited by Anne Newgarden (I want the book, not only for the contents, but also the cover!)

Thursday, 26 April 2007

'Love is not love...'

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments.
Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:

O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wand'ring bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his heighth be taken.

Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But beats it out even to the edge of doom:

If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

Sonnet 116, William Shakespeare

Pic 1: Jane & Tom, Becoming Jane (2007)
Pic 2: Jo & Laurie, Little Women (1994)
Pic 3: Marianne & Col. Brandon, Sense & Sensibility (1995)

Wednesday, 25 April 2007

To a Sea-Nymph

To a Sea-Nymph

O nymph! Who loves to float on the green wave,
When Neptune sleeps beneath the moon-light hour,
Lull’d by the music’s melancholy pow’r,
O nymph, arise from out thy pearly cave!

For Hesper beams amid the twilight shade,
And soon shall Cynthia tremble o’er the tide,
Gleam on these cliffs, that bound the ocean’s pride,
And lonely silence all the air pervade.

Then, let thy tender voice at distance swell,
And steal along this solitary shore,
Sink on the breeze, till dying – heard no more –
Though wak’st the sudden magic of thy shell.

While the long coast in echo sweet replies,
Thy soothing strains the pensive heart beguile,
And bid the visions of the future smile,
O nymph! From out thy pearly cave – arise!

‘The Mysteries of Udolpho’, Ann Radcliffe (1794), p. 420

Art1: Anon, St. Petersburg Russia
Art2: Bulfinch, 1897

Why I admire Lady Kartini so much?

Well, for one, I won't be here doing a PhD while working on my blog (ew!) if RA Kartini did not voice her disagreements on the horrid situations of women's rights and education back in the dawn of the 20th century. Indeed, the quotes from Wikipedia here shows it:
Kartini's letters also expressed her hopes for support from overseas. In her correspondence with Estell "Stella" Zeehandelaar, Kartini expressed her desire to be like a European youth. She depicted the sufferings of Javanese women fettered by tradition, unable to study, secluded, and who must be prepared to participate in polygamous marriages with men they don't know.

Kartini also expressed criticisms about religion. She questioned why the Quran must be memorised and recited without an obligation to actually understand it. She also expressed the view that the world would be more peaceful if there was no religion to provide reasons for disagreements, discord and offence. She wrote "Religion must guard us against committing sins, but more often, sins are committed in the name of religion" 

Tuesday, 24 April 2007

What's the relationship between Lady Kartini and Jane Austen?

Well, there are a few of them.
1. IMO, they're both heroines that have managed to empower women in their respective countries. Lady Kartini was born on 21st April 1879, a century after Jane Austen's birth on 16 December 1775. Kartini's renowned writing,
Door Duistermis tox Licht, Habis Gelap Terbitlah Terang ('After Darkness, Light is Born'),
have inspired many Indonesian women to reach for higher education and become the best of themselves. I owe much of my life and education to the elegant lady. Jane Austen's six novels (well, seven, if you include 'Sanditon'), juvenillia and letters have inspired many Western women to live their life the fullest. That includes not getting married without true love and affection.

Indeed, both women are heroines to me (and I have more heroines to save for later!).

2. Kartini's birthday is 21st of April, we Indonesians have just celebrated it last Saturday. And surprise, surprise, it's the very same date with James McAvoy, the actor who played Thomas Langlois Lefroy, Jane Austen's lover in their youth. Well, except that James is still 28, so a bit too young for me (harhar!). But, happy birthday, James!


Dang! It turned out that the info in many web pages were wrong! JMA's birthday is actually 1st of January 1979, as confirmed by GMTV Entertainment Today (where James was the guest of the day). Oh, well, that doesn't alter my admiration towards him whatsoever...

What's so special about Jane Austen?

And I have to admit that my acquaintance with the 19th century 'Lady Kartini' of England just began a month ago when I watched 'Becoming Jane'. A lot of things can be said about Miss Austen, most notably the fact that she remained unmarried despite her success with her witty and funny stories. Below is an interesting quote from Ang Lee, the director of 'Sense and Sensibility (1995)':

One of the things that made Jane Austen so special was that she recognized the duality in everything. She knew that there is almost never just one thing going on in any situation, and she recognized the heartbreak which can result when the innocents among us must finally confront the truth. But she also rejoiced in the opportunities for satire which inevitably arise when people are saying one thing and doing something else.

It is thus the truth universally acknowledged (well, at least among Austenians) that Mr. Lee is correct.