Slash fiction

by Henry Farrell on July 11, 2003

The WP’s “review”: of _Pirates of the Caribbean_ has some useful insights into the scriptwriters’ authorial intentions. It informs us that in the “production notes”: to the movie, one of the film’s authors says:

bq. We wanted it to be a very classic, Jane Austen-style, bodice-ripping romance.

This is, I have to say, a rather lovely idea, which should be developed further. We already have “Jane Austen’s Terminator”: (courtesy of “Making Light”: Surely it can’t be difficult to sex up, say, _Pride and Prejudice_ a little bit? If Alastair Campbell can make weapons dossiers sound lascivious, Jane Austen should be a cinch. And why not include a congeries of cutlass-waving undead pirates too, while we’re at it. Friends, I hand the task over to you.



dsquared 07.11.03 at 5:37 pm

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a blow job”.

I’m sorry. I’ll get my coat.


Kieran Healy 07.11.03 at 5:52 pm

Or take a different novel:

Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition, seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence; and had lived nearly twenty-one years in the world with very little to distress or vex her, except a congeries of cutlass-waving undead pirates and a cyborg sent from the future with the single-minded task of tracking her down and killing her.


Martin 07.11.03 at 6:29 pm

Pride and Prejudice was sexy enough to cause me trouble (unfortunately merely academic)in junior high school. I was assigned the book but could not get through it and turned to a plot summary. However, I couldn’t make myself believe the summary enough to rely on it on the exam because it (accurately) described Lydia running off with Wickham. Based on the first few chapters, I could not believe that anything as dramatic, or sexually fraught, as this could be happening in Pride and Prejudice.

(I was again assigned the book in high school, at which time I loved it, but construed it as essentially a book about economics, a legitimate, albeit partial, perspective.)


Gideon Strauss 07.11.03 at 6:56 pm

I am tryyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyying not to find this funny.

Viva Jane!


Kate Nepveu 07.11.03 at 6:58 pm

Madeline Robins’ _Point of Honour_ opens: “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a Fallen Woman of good family must, soon or late, descend to whoredom.”

I haven’t read it yet (an omission I must correct), but I liked her previous sf novel _The Stone War_ quite a bit.


jam 07.11.03 at 7:32 pm

Persuasion, people, Persuasion. After the book’s end, Anne and the Captain sail off into the sunset to turn pirate and their first captive is Elizabeth. No?


Chris Bertram 07.11.03 at 8:05 pm

I’m available for Mansfield Park Uncovered, for an appropriate fee.


Fontana Labs 07.11.03 at 10:51 pm

At least you didn’t call it “Mansfield Pork.”


Richard Bayley 07.14.03 at 2:17 pm

A few years ago, a BBC comedy show pilot had a sketch featuring a spoof Jane Austen makeover inspired by “Trainspotting”….”Smack and Sensibility”.
(Cue the familiar rumble of Iggy Pop’s “Lust for Life”, and picture Lizzie and Mr Darcy shooting up in a multi-storey car park…)


Ruth Feingold 07.14.03 at 3:11 pm

Some humour book I read years ago — I think one that summarized major works of literature in limericks or other short verse — had a great spoof cover for a “Jane Austen” novel: “Pride and and Extreme Prejudice” (a name that has since been stolen for an unrelated film). The cover illustration was a very typical Signet paperback-style oil of a late 18th-century woman, modified to show her holding a huge gun. The pull-out quote was something on the order of, “I would be most gratified, Lady Catherine, if you would go ahead and make my day.”

I’ve botched it in transmission, but it was really good…


Mustayne 07.21.03 at 9:50 am

Pirates of the Caribbean, I admit, might have made for a really good adult novel. Think about it: What if Elizabeth Swan had run off with Captain Jack Sparrow, instead of sticking with Will Turner?? Anyone who’s seen the movie should take note of the body language going on between the characters of Miss Swan and Captain Sparrow. Not only did she NOT look or act terrified when he grabbed hold of her before he made his escape (after he saved her from drowning) but she leaned against him when they were marooned on the small island (wheather rum was a good excuse or not). If that’s not a signal, what is?
I can see it now: “The rum spent to the last drop, they turned their attentions to each other.
Slipping her free of her bodice, Captain Sparrow gently took Miss Swan’s face into his hands, and bestowed upon her a kiss which made her heart beat faster, her head swim, and her fears melted away. For here was a man who knew what pleasures a woman wanted.”


Andrew Wyld 08.29.03 at 1:53 pm

Coincidentally, only today I found this:

Although it probably isn’t a coincidence, given that it inspired the spot of googling that brought me here.

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