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Thanks! -- Arnie Perlstein, Portland, OR

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

She’s everywhere, part 999: Marlon James the Jamaican Janeite

“The Jamaican novelist Marlon James won the Man Booker Prize on Tuesday for his novel A Brief History of Seven Killings, a raw, violent epic that uses the attempted assassination of Bob Marley in 1976 to explore Jamaican politics, gang wars and drug trafficking. Mr. James is the first Jamaican-born author to win the Man Booker, Britain’s most prestigious literary award. At a ceremony at London’s Guildhall, Mr. James said he was so certain that he would not win that he did not prepare an acceptance speech.
The Booker judges praised Mr. James’s stylistic range and his unflinching exploration of violence, cronyism and corruption…..”

So, why am I posting the above here?  Because of the following short YouTube video, in which Marlon James, speaking at an indie bookstore before he had any idea about winning that prestigious prize, briefly speaks about one of his writing influences…..(who else?)….Jane Austen!:

Although I recommend you invest the few minutes required to watch the video, so you can experience the real person and his speaking voice, here is my transcription of the brief but telling reference to Austen:

“This is something I learned from Jane Austen….which is the last name I bet you expected to hear today, right? (laughter) But Jane Austen has a way, especially in a novel like Pride & Prejudice, where her most unsavory characters have the realest worldview.  So, Elizabeth’s best friend marries Mr. Collins, who nobody wants,…But Elizabeth’s best friend knows what time it is. If she don’t get married, she’s gonna end up in a poor house, destitute, somewhere. She knows what time it is …”

He is on Twitter, and so I Tweeted this to him earlier today about Elizabeth’s best friend:

Congrats!! Charlotte Lucas was a lesbian in love with Eliza B. & really did know what time it was!

(I’ll let you know if he responds, I expect he is getting a great deal of richly deserved attention today. I’ve ordered the prize winning novel from the library, I am very curious to read it)

Cheers, ARNIE
@JaneAustenCode on Twitter

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