Southwest Region: Jane Austen in Hollywood
"Unfilmable Austen: The Case of Northanger Abbey"
Our Winter Meeting will feature speakers Linda Troost and Sayre Greenfield, editors of Jane Austen in Hollywood, the first book about the Austen film phenomenon. Their talk is titled “Unfilmable Austen: The Case of Northanger Abbey.”
Northanger Abbey is hard to put successfully on film because it concerns itself with temporal change, both personal and cultural: it captures people and culture on the move. It requires, unlike Jane Austen’s other novels, a sense of how British culture evolves over time. Any modern potential film audience will be so aware of split between our present and Austen’s world as the past, that it becomes difficult to portray on screen Austen’s concern with defining modernity in Northanger Abbey. In this novel, Jane is Janus, looking forward and backward, serving as goddess of a doorway through time. One cannot pass through the same doorway twice, however, and any period film of that novel will have an impossible time recapturing modernity that is 200 years old.
Our venue for the event is Sony Pictures Studios, the former MGM lot where the 1940 Pride and Prejudice was filmed. Lunch is being catered by Wolfgang Puck.
For more information, visit the Region’s website.