Wednesday, September 3, 2014

rocky amusing


Bridget Jones's Diary


Bridget Jones:  The Edge Of Reason

is enjoyable because you are just pulled along, through the paragraphs -- there's no boring exposition -- "The lilac trees were in bloom again in the spring, along with the hydrangea and something-or-other bushes" the two Bridget Jones novels published in the '90s, it's just closely observed, and hilariously imagined-and-obsessed-about Thoughts-Ideas-Conversations-Explorations-of-Possibilities, non-stop, in a sort of stream-of-consciousness.

------------- [excerpt] ---------------
8:45 a.m.  In Coins Café having cappuccino, chocolate croissant and cigarette.  Is relief to have fag in open and not to be on best behavior.  V. complicated actually having man in house....

8:50 a.m.  Mmm.  Wonder what Mark Darcy would be like as a father....

8:55 a.m.  Anyway, must not obsess or fantasize.

9 a.m.  Wonder if Una and Geoffrey Alconbury would let us put marquee on their lawn for the recept---  Gaaah!

Was my mother, walking into my café bold as brass in a Country Casuals pleated skirt and apple-green blazer with shiny gold buttons, like a spaceman turning up in the House of Commons squirting slime and sitting itself down calmly on the front bench.

"Hello, darling," she trilled. ----------------- [end excerpt]

(Bridget's mother -- or "mum" -- often "trills"...)

In Bridget's diary-speak, "V." is an abbreviation for the word "very."

V. good.
V. sexy.
V. complicated.

In these 2 novels, there's a crispness, a briskness, to the writing style which makes you (the reader) feel sort of vaguely happy, as you go along...

---------------- [excerpt] ----------- "Mother---" I protested.  I mean it was a bit rich coming from her.  Not six months ago she was running around with a Portuguese tour operator with a gentleman's handbag.

"Oh, did I tell you," she interrupted, smoothly changing the subject, "Una and I are going to Kenya."

"What!" I yelled.

"We're going to Kenya!  Imagine, darling!  To darkest Africa!"

My mind started to whirl round and round searching through possible explanations like a slot machine before it comes to a standstill:  Mother turned missionary?  Mother rented Out of Africa again on video?  Mother suddenly remembered about Born Free and decided to keep lions? ------ [end excerpt] -----------

These English novels have words and turns of phrase which are different and amusing, for me, since I'm American -- things that are ironic are, over there, "a bit rich" -- and in one description she observes that her boyfriend Mark is "rocky smart."  (Which must mean very smart.  Or -- "v. smart"...?)

A cigarette is, apparently, "a fag" ...

For British people, that layer of extra entertainment in the B. Jones books would be missing because that's how they actually talk -- like if you're in China and you get won-tons, it isn't "Chinese food," but rather, simply, "food," as was once pointed out on "Friends" ...

{Bridget Jones:  The Edge of Reason - Helen Fielding - 1999 - Picador-Macmillan; Viking Penguin}


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