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First Excerpt! - Northanger Abbey and Angels and Dragons

(Here is an unedited snippet from the work-in-progress, subject to revision in the final version...)

Chapter 1


In the beginning was the Word—also known as a very big bang marvelous sort of Expletive—a circumstance wherein God created the universe.

He made light and stars and constellations and galaxies and planets, and a certain very particular lump of matter called earth, which He populated—heavens and firmament—with teeming curious creatures. These included, among others, trilobites and baboons, porcupines and ferrets, pigeons and bumblebees, manatees and kangaroo, the duck and the duckbill platypus, and of course, the upright great apes called humans.

The latter, created most in His Image, immediately proceeded to “ape” for all they were worth—in other words, to create in turn—and were directly responsible for the manufacture of virtue and taste, style and erudition, and henceforth the knowledge of Good and Evil as pertaining to fashionable trifles suitable for adornment during a preening exhibition called the London Season.

Also created were gossip and dowry, followed by courtship and matrimony, and then tedium and ennui. Last, and not least, came the acquired taste for trimming hedges in the French style, and the secret delight in sanguine scenes of murderous dread, gothic terrors, and dark rending romance, particularly in the young female of the species, as perpetuated by a certain literary female by the name of Mrs. Radcliffe.

To provide this teeming Creation with some modicum of order and supervision, God also created angels and demons and nephilim, and occasional great serpents and dragons, all of which he initially imbued with common sense—the one precious and infinitely rare faculty that the rest of the Creation was sorely lacking.

For, what is order without common sense, but Bedlam’s front parlor? What is imagination without common sense, but the aspiration to out-dandy Beau Brummell with nothing but a bit of faded muslin and a limp cravat? What is Creation without common sense, but a scandalous thing without form or function, like a matron with half a dozen unattached daughters?

And God looked upon the Creation in all its delightful multiplicity, and saw that, all in all, it was quite Amiable.

There was but one minor problem.

Common sense was not as common as the Deity might wish for. Indeed, not even angelic choirs were entirely free of a certain vice known as silliness.

And if the very angels were thus flawed, then what might one expect of innocent young ladies?

* * *

Speaking of innocent young ladies—behold our heroine, Catherine Morland. Admittedly, no one who had ever seen Catherine in her infancy would have supposed her born to be an heroine. Her situation in life, the character of her father and mother, her own person and disposition, were all equally against her.

In one inconsequential detail alone was she at all a standout—indeed, it was such a very peculiar and supernatural thing that some might venture to question its validity. For, not unlike the saintly Joan of Arc of old, our Catherine could hear the voices and speech of angels and demons, and had the innate ability to understand their language, both profane and divine. Furthermore, she was also able to see them as corporeal beings, in all their bright glory and terrifying aspect. Of course, for a very long time she was blessedly unaware of the fact.

But, gentle Reader, we are getting ahead of ourselves . . .

. . .

From the Author of Mansfield Park and Mummies...

Northanger Abbey and Angels and Dragons
by Jane Austen and Vera Nazarian

Coming December 1, 2010 from Curiosities


Comments

Is this genuinely another installment in the Jane-Austen-novels-rewritten-to-include-various-unmentionables series? Because if the final edition of the book is like this excerpt, I most certainly won't be buying this , and I'll be warning everyone I meet away from it. I find the material stolen from Genesis and then altered as above to be blasphemous and highly offensive, not only to my personal beliefs, Christianity in general, to say nothing of Jane Austen.

I know I'll most likely get bashed for saying so, but I'm saying it nonetheless.
I know what you mean. The hostility in the first paragraph is insulting and completely unnecessary to a Northanger Abbey mash-up.
You're brave to agree with me, especially considering the reception my intial comment received!

Thank you. :-)

Edited at 2010-03-22 04:51 am (UTC)
You're welcome.
Anyone who spends any time actually looking at your journal is either there for the graphics and tries to ignore your rampant homophobic bigotry, hence will not be paying attention to your warnings, or is someone who thinks just like you, and probably not going to buy anything published after 1905 anyway.
I'm an even bigger homophobic bigot. Isn't it glorious?

/snark
Gee, whaddaya know -- I actually predicted the future when I said I'd get bashed. Just how did I know that? *rolls eyes*

It's really too bad that your profile's professed dislike of "publicly bullying, humiliating or mocking" isn't extended to real people in real life, instead of being merely applicable to participants in fandoms. But, then, I suppose imaginary characters deserve more respect than religion.

As for being homophobic and a bigot, I am neither, but evidently you either lack a good dictionary or are entirely in ignorance that your own comment is steeped in that dreaded bigotry of which you so flippantly accused me (a person whom you know absolutely nothing about).
my first genuine laugh out loud moment o' the day---thank you.
I know what you mean. I'm horribly offended at the thought that God could have created the duck-billed platypus. That sucker was designed by committee.

fanatical outrage and the fun it creates

I’ve always felt that if God exists, he she or it has an incredible sense of humor, especially when some overly sensitive clench-fisted censor goes on self-imposed crusades to suppress alternative ways of seeing life.

Re: fanatical outrage and the fun it creates

Oh He exists, alright, and I would rather be a hundred times accused of being "overly sensitive, clench-fisted" and "fanatical" than stand by and say nothing when my beliefs are mocked and insulted.

Re: fanatical outrage and the fun it creates

I'm glad you have proof, namely 'cause you said so. IN the meantime, standing by you beloefs doesn't involve endosring censorship and trying to effect a person's career by attempting a boycott. But I know I'm pissing in the wind.

Re: fanatical outrage and the fun it creates

I don't think it's "fanatical" to find being called apes insulting, especially since the story has nothing to with religion, save a character being a clergyman. Jane Austen herself wouldn't appreciate it.

Re: fanatical outrage and the fun it creates

Why are you people taking a rather clever bit of satire and turning it into cause for an Inquisition? I have a novel that would be deemed blasphemous and several accounts and I can't wait to tangle with you good god-fearing folks when it comes out.

I guess I don't spend enough time reading through comments

Wow. I didn't realize that writing satire still made one a target for such hostility. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised.

Anyway, for the co-author's benefit, I thought this was a good start.

Austen herself was a fine satirist, and I don't think she'd be nearly as offended as some posters seem to think. Not only did she have a good laugh at the clergy now and then (Mr Collins, anyone?), but her early juvenile satires were anything but mild. Since she grew up during the Enlightenment, her religious views very possibly were not as rigid as those of Victorians, and I would suggest folks not speak on Jane Austen's behalf.

Also, considering that, historically, aristocrats believed their role as social superiors was ordained by God I think the pseudo-Genesis describing the London season is more than appropriate.

Catherine Morland is the perfect character for such a role as you're giving her; a nice girl and very likable, but pretty normal (unlike Lizzie Bennett, for example). I'm looking forward to the rest of the book.

FYI, there is plenty of literature that dates prior to 1905 and is much more progressive than some of the views posted here. Just sayin'.

Common sense was not as common as the Deity might wish for. Indeed, not even angelic choirs were entirely free of a certain vice known as silliness.

And if the very angels were thus flawed, then what might one expect of innocent young ladies?

*laughs really hard*
Anyone who finds this blasphemous needs to get their knickers out of a severe twist.
I personally find the introduction rather amusing, but then again, I'm a heathen queer atheist who 'believes in' evolution, and who actually lives in 2010, as opposed to 1855.

A Novelist . . .

User norilana referenced to your post from A Novelist . . . saying: [...] the privilege of speaking the Truth clad in Story." -- from Northanger Abbey and Angels and Dragons [...]
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