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Thanks! -- Arnie Perlstein, now living in "Portlandia"!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Jane Austen the Mentalist PART TWO

Sometimes the universe just smiles at you, and when it does, you just say "Thank you."

In the previous post, written an hour before this one, I wrote the following:

"As I have previously mentioned, my wife and I have been working our way steadily through the first four seasons of The Mentalist on DVD (we are 1/4 through the fourth season right now), and the kind of description JA provides in the above quoted passage is exactly the sort of snap judgment that Patrick Jane (I wonder about that last name!) routinely renders on the show, when he, like Sherlock Holmes, delivers a capsule description of many characters he encounters, including within his descriptions descriptions of facial features and expressions in exactly that same way!
Now, I believe JA was a kind of mentalist, meaning an extraordinarily acute observer and analyst of human character and personality, and so when she gives these descriptions, I believe she is painting, in a few words, an accurate portrait of these people. I trust JA's judgment.
So I don't see her as sour, I see her as relentlessly honest when she could safely afford to be, as she could in Letter 92.
 I just read ahead to Letter 93 by mistake, and I found there a perfect example of JA's integrity and willingness to adapt her judgments on other people, as additional evidence came in. Just like Patrick Jane the Mentalist. "  END QUOTE
I then raced to the family room to join my wife in watching the latest episode of The Mentalist (now well into season 5). And so, imagine my astonishment and delight when, approximately 15 minutes into the episode, in a scene in which Patrick Jane and Agent Cho are interviewing a suspect in the case of a murder at an exclusive drug rehab facility in the Bay Area, and we hear the following dialog, or something very close to it (by my memory):

PJ: "Miss ____, we're from the CBI, this is agent Cho and I'm Patrick Jane."

Suspect: "Is that Jayne as in Mansfield, or Jane as in Austen?"

PJ: "Austen."

Then, about 15 minutes later, Patrick Jane is explaining to that suspect that he knows she is not the murderer, and also tells her that he has deduced that she is an undercover reporter on assignment to dig up dirt on celebrity patients at the rehab center. She asks him how he knew, and he says:

"When I told you my name, you asked me to spell it, that was the reporter in you showing your true calling."

So...I don't need to be a mentalist to deduce from the above that the writer of this particular episode of the show was certainly a Janeite, and also a reader of Laurie Viera Rigler's Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict (both because of all the characters in the episode who are addicts, and also because the protagonist of Laurie's novel is named.....Jane (with no "Y") Mansfield, which is a kind of pun alluding both to Mansfield Park and also to the actress who died tragically named Jayne (with a "Y") Mansfield.

All very cool injokes, but also confirming my sense that it is not an accident after all that the Mentalist is named Patrick Jane, and also that one of the bosses in the CBI during a couple of seasons of the show just happens to have the surname Bertram.

So, I say first, "she's everywhere", and second "thank you, universe".

Cheers, ARNIE
@JaneAustenCode on Twitter


Arnie Perlstein said...

I just wanted to add, I bet that when Jane Austen DID take off the demure mask, as in Letter 92, she was probably perceived as something of a psychic by those she revealed herself to, because she was such a master psychologist that it was difficult for ordinary folks to figure out how she knew what she knew about the hidden lives of people.

Only a true mentalist could create a character like Henry Crawford, who is someone very similar to the smartest of the villains with whom Simon Jane engages in battles of wits in order to bring them to justice.

BC Kelly said...

Hello Arnie ...

Wanted to get ONE post here, just to say 'hey', but will do the 'heavy lifting' over at the IMDb Mentalist Board in your posting there, dig ? (smile)

And let you figure out/do the 'html link stuff' for anyone here to get to there (ty tyvm)

But will say this ...

Very happy you wandered over to IMDb, found the Mentalist Group, and said 'hey' ... then for us to make connection here that goes back to there, to other places, and who knows where else, eventually.

Is some kind of a Joseph Campbell Heroically Mentalistic Journey, eh ?

And all the Janes, Blakes, Bachs, Brunos, Red Johns - and who knows who else - are Blazing the Trails ... all we gotta do is Follow Along ;-)

For Reference here, if it 'works', is the link to other Site managed by another at IMDb Mentalist Boards - Darryl (the Hitman, yea, finds 'rasslin stuff connections in all this, interesting, ask him about it) ... anyway, is for my Postings/Writings there about Mentalist in the Grand Sweep of Literature and Cinema Yada/yada ... is not 'polished, complete' but provides valid info/links and material for future 'efforts' ... was originally posted at IMDb, then we 'moved' it all over to his Board so it not get lost due to IMDb's short posting lifespan (about 4 or 5 months, max)

At any rate, you/others, will find a LOT of 'good stuff' there for Mentalist, check it out ...



Now, this is 'easy fact' ...

The Producer/Creator Bruno Heller is a very interesting man, and is on Path to Great Art (imho)

The simple fact he's willing to attempt to include reference to Jane Austen - as well as Shakespeare, Melville, Blake, Bach, et al - is (imho) easy proof he's not messing around with lame 'Merikan TV Stuff - naw, this guy's going for the Big Time ... and Gettin' 'Er Done™

And, again, very happy to see you 'See' that, and want to Explore, make the Journey

Catch you over at IMDb ... thanks and later, BC

(aka there as 'Bruno Keller', another 'interesting story', will try to include that entire tale in another posting, one day ... wink wink)