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Monday, May 1, 2017

Fandom welcome -- via Austenland.

Brief summary... 

Maybe you didn't expect this slant about fandom, but it's about you, about me, about friendship. And about Austenland. No knowledge of the book nor the movie required.  

Links at end of post.

Jane says:  "Okay, since we have to spend so much time rehearsing this thing... just....
Let's try not to annoy each other." 

Not looking at her, Mr. Nobley replies: "You don't annoy me.
You make me nervous." 

Jane says:  "You're the resident Mr. Darcy.
Come on, you're every girl's fantasy." *

Mr. Nobley pauses for a moment.
Then he murmurs, enunciating with great care -- sounding different, and not at all like his usual prickly self:
"So... I'm your fantasy?"

=-= =-= =-=

I maintain that Austenland is a movie about fandom -- and that it's a very fannish movie. Maybe you aren't into Jane Austen, or romances, or sitcoms. Doesn't matter.

You need not be.

You will recognize the people here. Not only the ones who are clearly playing to type, just like commedia dell'arte. You'll recognize the shyness, the introverted, the people who were you, or your friends. The socially awkward.

Romance is not the only time human beings are awkward, certainly.

But the charm of Austenland to me was that it was about fans and readers, about a fandom. About fans not only of an author and her works... but of the world. The people. The places.

Close your eyes and just listen.

You've had that conversation. You just met a person who loves your show, your series, your favorite character[s]. You both fall in love -- even a little. That's what fandom is, what friendship is.

Shared love. Maybe that fictional person, place, world, language... maybe that's what brought you together. Maybe it was for one day, one convention, one interaction on Twitter or Facebook or tumblr -- or maybe it turned into a friendship that you still have.

You need not watch Austenland, nor read the book either.

They're both great favorites of mine now.

But that time, that situation... you know it. You've been there. You're there now.

Welcome to fandom. We've been waiting to talk to you, to enthuse with you, to be your friend for a moment or forever. Welcome home.

Glad to have you here, my friend. Glad to have found you at last! 8)

=-=    Postscript    =-=

Some quotes of Austenland here, via GoodreadsIMDb, and a blog (which starts to wibble and garbles some great exchanges, alas)... 

More links:  NPR on Austenland (2013).  Enthusiastic review (2014 blog).

The Austenland fan tumblr -- a lovely place with many images, fellow diehard fans, and even bonus clips of scenes missing from the movie!

Some of my favorite quotes here and there (and a diversion about clay), and also here and yet there... c'mon now, I can't be quoting the entire book at you, can I? Still, the wit and the humor make the novel very readable.

I read that, oh, perhaps six times in one weekend. The book Austenland is fairly short. Most of the movie's dialog comes from Shannon Hale's book. I recommend it very highly.

( * I know the image above says "woman's" and I quoted it as "girl's" but I can't locate a definitive source of either... Punctuation choices my own from many views; YMMV. )

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