Today I was asking a friend of mine whether or not she’d ever read Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women or seen any of the film adaptations. She had not! A very exciting prospect to consider, coming to such a well-known text with no prior impressions. What a treat!
She then said she always prefers film adaptations which stick closest to the book.
Slightly disagree. I can’t say I entirely agree. There are too many differences in the way a story is told to justify the idea that “the book is always better than the film.” As previously explored in my post about The Art of Adaptation there’s many reasons why major changes to a source text can result in a successful film. So long as the heart and characters of the story remain intact, I’m happy.
Of the 3.5 versions of Little Women I have seen, the 1990s adaptation with Winona Ryder us my favorite. I didn’t even finish the most recent, gritty, BBC series… 30 min. in and it just didn’t feel like Little Women. As for the most recent theatrical release in the U.S., I have avoided it. From what I can tell, feminist anachronisms abound and I am not about that. The Alcott’s were mold breakers in their own time and I prefer to keep their attitudes in context. But hey, I’ll give it a go today and see if it surpasses my expectations.
I realized recently that when I started this blog back in 2012, “Lit” hadn’t yet become the slang that it is today. I thought I was just being funny and playing on words (Too Legit to Quit… get it?) and I’m a literary person so… clever. Although UrbanDictionary.com documents the first use of “lit” as “something that is fucking amazing in any sense” circa 2009 – I can’t rely on myself to be up-to-date on the latest slang. So we’ll just assume, wow, I’ve had this blog for a long time, long enough to see a shift in the American lexicon.
And I love it.
I also realized I need to update my bio page since it still has me as “earning my MA” in English. SURPRISE I finished. Came back from England and now sit at a desk M-F and work most weekends. I am so tired, but I digress. I wanted to say how it’s funny that most English snobs will argue for days about the proper use of a word or grammar etc. There are some cut and dry cases. I used to argue forever about the proper use of “he/she,” and “their” being used as a gender neutral term, but it seems language is always shifting.
I find it fascinating.
So, what are us English Snobs really holding onto when we choose to die on that hill? I guess there is something to be said for maintaining standards, but once a significant change works its way into style guides and the dictionary… time to let it go, man. Join the 21st century and embrace the shift of language and culture.
*cue feel good music*