Austen, Austen, Everywhere

[General,Research] (02.10.09, 11:41 am)

It amazes me how Jane Austen has such a prevalent fan culture. I may even go so far as to say it’s cult-like. Not in any pejorative sense, but once indoctrinated into the Janeite world, nothing ever seems quite the same again. Whenever there are literary cults, there tend to be interesting extensions and perturbations. Sometimes these return and intersect with the world of popular culture, such as in the case of the Jane Austen Book Club, but occasionally the perturbations are stranger. Take for example “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies,” found via the Times.

I am actually really interested in the “zombie phenomenon,” in its relation to popular culture. Zombies are symbols that play on ideas of consumption, mindlessness, individualism, homogeneity, race, gender, and so on. Zombies are a fun and surprisingly productive metaphor for communicating cultural fears and anxieties. The language of zombie horror translates very well into games, and as such there tend to be a lot of games about them. These tend to work out well because the mechanics are appropriate for the genre, and they insecurities, anxieties, and ironies of zombiedom can carry over very well.

I suppose it was inevitable that there be a Jane Austen – zombie crossover.

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.