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Thanks! -- Arnie Perlstein, Portland, OR

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

PPS re The King's Speech and Pride and Prejudice

Some final thoughts about The King's Speech in relation to Jane Austen:

First, my friend Catherine Delors has blogged in her usual insightful way about this film:

It occurs to me that Jane Austen would have been like Catherine, suspicious of attempts to cover up inconvenient truths, in this instance King George VI's and Churchill's initially being part of the problem in terms of appeasing Hitler, as opposed to (the leading) part of the solution, which they became.

JA was no toady to the Royals, as is evidenced by her savage satire of the Prince Regent, as I refer to, above, in Colleen Sheehan's identification of the "Prince of Whales" as the secret second answer to the second charade in Emma.

Second, I have been thinking some more about the virtual certainty that Colin Firth will win the Oscar for Best Actor in five days. This means that when he wins, he will become the "King" of actors in the world for the next year, and whatever he says in accepting the Oscar will be "the King's speech"!

And it will also be the official exorcism of the ghost of Mr. Darcy, who has been haunting Colin Firth for 15 years, just as King George VI exorcised the ghost of HIS father in the moment of becoming a true leader of his people.

And yet, even as Firth transcends Darcy, he recreates him in this role. The character of "Bertie", who learns to overcome his own royal pride and prejudice, and Lionel, who learns to overcome HIS own commoner's pride and prejudice, are in a profound sense echoes of Darcy and Lizzy in Pride and Prejudice, and their path of mutual enlightenment.

Cheers, ARNIE

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