Clueless

I vividly remember when the movie Clueless came out.  I was 11, and had recently moved to a new town, and was going to summer camp with most of the other girls in town.  One early social outing was for a big group of us to go see Clueless, a film that had certainly been well marketed as “super-cool” for the pre-teen set.  I was very excited to be included, and it was the first time I went to the movies with friends, and without adults.  The movie lived up to everyone’s expectations of humor and glamour.  The following year I was able to cajole two friends into seeing Emma with me, and I at least, enjoyed seeing the parallels between the two movies. 

Fast-forward a few years, to when I finally read Emma, and it becomes my favorite novel.  I was then also able to better understand the nuances of two of my favorite movies.  When I got to college and was studying Austen, one surprise was that while most of my professors and teaching fellows decried Austen movie adaptations, they universally admired Clueless.  For my 19th Century Novel class, our professor even sponsored a movie viewing after we read Emma.  One highlight was my TF extolling the virtues of getting to see the physical embodiment of Emma in Alicia Silverstone.  Seeing the film as I got older (and many times since) my appreciation for it has deepened.  In each new viewing, I uncover a new example of director Amy Heckerling’s trenchant wit and I marvel at how she was able to so supplely adapt the novel to a very different modern setting.

What do you think of Clueless?  How about all the Austen and other ‘trendy’ literary adaptations and updates that followed its success?  Do you have any favorite going-to-the-movies stories?

Law blogs as scholarship

This post, from Law Librarian Blog, points to several discussions on the scholarly (or not) nature of law blogging.  Did you know that some law review articles cite to blogs?

Why haven’t portables caught on yet?

See this NY Times story about the importance of hardware usability.  It’s not enough to digitize books — you need hardware that’s as cheap and long-lasting as the printed page.

The Jane Austen Book Club

Seeing as I wrote about Jane Austen yesterday, I wanted to continue in that vein and write a bit more about an Austen spin-off I recently enjoyed. The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler was published in 2004, but I did not read it until this past summer.

This was a book I had been somewhat interested in, but never felt fully motivated to pick up. Last summer I finally checked it out of the library, and read it while traveling to visit a friend. I became instantly absorbed, and found the novel both humorous and moving. I thought Fowler created a novel that was both innovative and entertaining, and which borrowed from Jane Austen, while still remaining subtle and original. I felt like she was really able to capture Austen’s style and wit, while using her own voice to create fresh stories and characters.

The novel follows the formation of a book club in the Sacramento area—a group comprised of six members who plan to read and discuss Austen’s six novels. The group is made up of five women, and one man, and an adventure of love and self-discovery results for each member of the group. While each section begins as they meet for book club, I found the character “flashbacks” the most interesting and poignant parts of the novel.

I found The Jane Austen Book Club to be one of those novels that’s just a real pleasure to read, and I’d thoroughly recommend it. (Though, as a houseguest, I did wander off a bit in my eagerness to keep reading!)