4 stories from Jane Austen in Latin America

Writer Amy Elizabeth Smart traveled through several countries to see how Austen translated across cultures. Here are 4 of her stories.

3. A gender divide on Mr. Darcy


 In Ecuador, Smith's discussion group found themselves divided along gender lines when it came to opinions on the famously prickly Mr. Darcy in "Pride and Prejudice." "'I love that character, just love him!' Fernanda, Leti and Meli layered over each other's cries of enthusiasm... Meli agreed emphatically. 'I loved him from the first moment.' 'Darcy is detestable,' Ignacio José cut in, supported by nods and frowns from Oscar. 'Darcy is not detestable!' cried Meli, while Leti and Fernanda rushed to declare him shy with strangers but wonderful, adorable, fabulous. 'Maybe by midway through the book we can see that,' Ignacio José conceded. 'But in that first scene, he's awful.' 'Es de matarlo a palos,' Oscar agreed. This is strong stuff, worth giving in the original. Translated literally, Darcy deserves to be beaten to death with a stick or 'palo.' This phrase, however, is an extreme way of saying somebody deserves a serious beat-down but not actual death. Still, the sentiment earned Oscar the prize for 'First Reader in Latin America to Want to Manhandle an Austen Character.'"

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