Saturday, March 21, 2015

Darcy and Tristan

I am watching the BBC version of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice on DVD and reading the book at the same time - or actually after each episode. I find it best to see an episode before reading it as then I enjoy it without fretting that the nuances are being lost.  When I read the episode after seeing it, I enjoy all the parts have been left out of the film while admiring the inventiveness of the film makers in being able to include so much.

Today I discovered a very clever auditory device used in the DVD that of course cannot be in the book. At the end of the penultimate episode, as Elizabeth finally realises she loves Darcy while at the same time recognising that current circumstances make it unlikely that his previous avowal of love will ever be repeated, we see Darcy as she sees him and hear a few notes of the music from Tristan and Isolde. Just those few notes are enough to capture the yearning of the lovers. It makes you realise again just how clever Wagner was and just how much his music permeates our culture.

What Richard Wagner is to music, Jane Austin is to the English novel. Every word is irreplaceable; not one would you leave out, nor yet is there one that you would like to add. That is exactly what has been said about the notes in Wagner's Parsifal.

Darcy and Tristan: what a combination.

No comments: