Austen, globalization and FRBR

Lorcan 1 min read

bride_and_prejudice_270.jpgWe just saw Bride and Prejudice, Pride and Prejudice recast in contemporary Amritsar, London and Los Angeles. Bollywood meets Hollywood was the tagline. The most interesting and telling shift for me was that Elizabeth Bennett’s suitor, the fussy clergyman Mr Collins, who represented financial and social security, was updated here to a Mr. Kholi, an accountant who has emigrated to California. In this modern, global world, a green card has replaced a dog collar as the sign of security: Mr Kholi works with rich clients in Los Angeles and lives in a house whose value is rapidly growing.
As we FRBRize Worldcat and subsections of it one of the things to emerge more clearly is the rich publishing history of the ‘classics’: classics are complex works with many derivatives. Of course this is to be expected: part of what makes a classic a classic is that it is interpreted afresh by new generations, who want their own editions.
Pride and Prejudice is a classic – and one can get a sense of that rich publishing history by clicking on the ‘editions’ tab if you follow the link at the beginning of this sentence. IMDB gives Jane Austen a writing credit on this movie. (I was interested to see that they had a biography and trivia about her, just as they do for other writers, actors and directors.)
Seems to me though that Bride and Prejudice is a quite distinct work from Pride and Prejudice. However, it does prompt me to note that we have very little ‘case law’ or ‘best practice’ in this area yet, as we have not moved very far out of the conceptual phase into deployment. It would be good if there were some more real activity with real data.
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