Jane Austen's Fight Club: travesty or triumph?

Posted by Bel. The time is 2.34pm here in Wellington NZ.

This faux trailer "Jane Austen's Fight Club" is the latest mash-up: Elizabeth Bennett meets Tyler Durden, with a bit of Kill Bill thrown in for good measure. These ladies look fun!

Austen has found herself in back the spotlight recently, with the release of what is now a series of books, starting with Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. When I first saw this floating around the internet, I assumed it was some kind of perverse fanfic art.

But no, it was for real - the Noughties unconquerable love of all that is undead, sucking blood, ninjafied, or, alternately, cupcake-sized and so exquisite you hardly bear to bite it (oooh back to biting - there we go!).

Tiger Beatdown guest blogger Garland Grey has written a brilliant piece on Austen, the male author of the new books and how the co-opting of her work is part of a greater issue of white male privilege exploiting minorities in any way possible.

I bet Ms. Austen had to work very hard to hammer out a structure and a flow and a rhythm to the story, and you pull up next to that process in your giant SUV of male privilege and start plugging your electricity and water into it, taking all the work that Austen did to get the thing published, all of the work that made her writing world famous, and you make YOURSELF world famous. And then you talk about how easy it was on NPR, a necessary addendum to the telling of the story of this book. Austen would probably prefer the story of this book to be about HER in some way. But let’s just talk about you and your rip-off.

PS I googled "Jane Austen cupcake" just to check if the internet had actually come full circle, and got this:


Lou, you are the expert. I'm still stalled 30 pages into Persuasion. Is this Jane Austen recreated in chocolate icing, or did we miss when Te Papa branded their Giant Squid merch for the afternoon tea crowd?

2 thoughts on “Jane Austen's Fight Club: travesty or triumph?”

  1. 30 pages in?? Fuck man, you haven't even given it a chance!! READ IT.

    That cupcake is ridiculous. The splodge only very vaguely resembles her silhouette (or anyone's) if you dim the screen and squint your eyes and maybe turn your head sideways.

    But beyond that - it's just a really ugly cupcake. I am taking this as a challenge to create a Jane Austen set of cupcakes.

    FYI: I have not participated in any of the Jane Austen grave-robbing. It seems like it's more about the idea of her as a cultural phenomenon than her actual works, if you know what I mean... Not that it's necessarily a bad thing per se, but it's just not necessarily something that connects directly with loving her actual books.

  2. Colossal Squid Cupcakes FTW! While Lou seeks to accurately present Austen in cupcake form, I shall endeavour to pay tribute to our friend from Squid Cam.