Locus Focus: Take Twenty-Seven!
Some loci are just not meant to have the foci. Remember that non-fiction setting I had in mind last week but pushed aside for another? Well, I'm still having trouble writing about it now. And having trouble with non-fiction settings in particular.
I wouldn't diagnose this as "Locus Focus Burnout" just yet, as I did have something else ready; but I think this month's theme managed to lose me completely. So what follows is not only completely fictional, but also unusually fantastic.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith
It was a handsome stone building, made to resemble the grandest palaces of Kyoto, and backed by a ridge of high, woody hills; and in front, a stream of some natural importance was swelled into a natural defence against frontal assault, but without any artificial appearance. Its banks were neither formal nor falsely adorned. Elizabeth was delighted. She had never seen a place for which nature had done more, or where the natural beauty of the Orient had been so little counteracted by English taste. They were all of them warm in their admiration . . .
They descended the hill, crossed between the stone dragons on either side of the bridge, and drove to the solid jade door . . .
If I had to pick one part of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies that perfectly captures how well Austen's character-driven romance blends with Grahame-Smith's undead gimmick, it would be the chapter in which Elizabeth visits Pemberley for the first time. Yes, it's still Pemberley--the setting which both marks and triggers the turning in Elizabeth's feelings toward Mr. Darcy--but it's Pemberley as you've never seen it before. For it is the home of Darcy as you've never seen him before: one of the fiercest and most dedicated zombie slayers in England.
When I was studying Austen's original, zombie-less novel in uni, a friend and I discussed this first glimpse of Pemberley. Elizabeth is awed by the beauty of the house and grounds; and for the first time, she regrets that she didn't accept Mr. Darcy's proposal when she had the chance--however awfully he might have made it. And my friend remarked, "Doesn't she seem so shallow now?"
I had to agree, and we giggled over it for a while. We've got your number now, Lizzy Bennet.
But the zombie-slaying Elizabeth is a less embarrassing character. When she sees Mr. Darcy's estate, she is not beholding merely a luxurious home any man with ten thousand a year could boast of, but the home of a warrior whose dedication to the martial arts and disgust of the zombie scourge actually matches her own. That is, she realises that he might actually be the only man in England she could love and finally hang up her sword for. And really, how beautiful is that?
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I can't wait to read what everyone has to say! =D
This week's other locus focus:
E.V. Lucas' London @ Birdie's Nest
Image Source: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith