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Monday, August 20, 2012

104

Texts From Rebecca

oh Mrs. de Winter
I realized after I took you on a tour of the master wing
I forgot to tell you about her clothes
whose clothes?
Whose clothes do you think
Rebecca’s?
of course
they were incredible
even her taste in nightgowns was impeccable
not like some nightgowns i could name
not like some nightgowns I have to regularly launder and fold and put away
I see
your nightgowns, specifically
I hate your nightgowns
so if when you come home tonight
you see a lot of R’s scribbled in lipstick and also blood all over your nightgowns
that was me
Ah
in case you wondered
who that was
Well, now I won’t wonder
the R is for Rebecca
I see   
also I can’t stand the kind of tea you buy 
so I ripped open all the bags 
and strewed the leaves throughout the great hallway
oh dear
because honestly
bagged tea?
this is a stately home 
like of England
this house has an actual name
you don’t even have a name
literally no one has ever mentioned your name
it’s just “where is my wife” and “this is Mrs. de Winter”
“the second” Mrs. de Winter
“the lesser” Mrs. de Winter
“the Mrs. de Winter who gets her tea in bags”
god i hate you
so much

you’re using the wrong fork you know
Please
Please, I’m trying to have dinner with my husband
and I’d like to be left alone
you’ll never be alone
not here
not in Manderley
her spirit’s in the very floors and walls
in the mirrors
in the rooms behind the doors you’ll never open
in the fork you’re not using properly
Where are you?
I can’t see you anywhere
that doesn’t surprise me
not at all
Rebecca would have spotted me in a second
I’m sure I’m very sorry
but I can’t see you and I’m not Rebecca
I couldn’t help but notice that you didn’t jump out your window last night
even after I left it open for you
No, I didn’t
you know who would have jumped out the window
if I’d asked her to?
PLEASE STOP
I’ll give you a hint
you have the same last name
and married the same man
also one of you is dead and one of you is not
It’s Rebecca
Rebecca, I know it’s her
I know it’s Rebecca, I KNOW IT’S HER
oh my God
that is your SALAD fork
this is the fish course
what is wrong with you

Previously: Texts From Nancy Drew.

Mallory Ortberg is a writer in the Bay Area. Her work has also appeared on Slacktory and Ecosalon.



104 Comments / Post A Comment

Bittersweet

Mrs. Danvers, I love you. Or hate you? Or both?

(Rebecca wouldn't have jumped out the window, though.)

Oliver St. John Mollusc

@Bittersweet Mrs. Danvers! MRS. DAAAAANVERS.

okaycrochet

@Bittersweet DANNNNYYYYYYYYYYYYY

T A@twitter

@Bittersweet She totally would have if she could make it look like she was pushed.

jhonsons

this is awesome @j

Sgt. Grumbles

This is just the goddamn greatest.

Dancingbear

"I couldn’t help but notice that you didn’t jump out your window last night
even after I left it open for you"

Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. Amazing.

Spice&Snails&PuppyDogTails

Important public service announcement related to this very important and hilarious post: Boston book club is reading Rebecca this month, so if you are in Boston you should come play with us!

Brigdh's@twitter

@Spice&Snails&PuppyDogTails OMG BOSTON HAS A BOOKCLUB? Can NYC get a book club?

Sorry for the all caps, I just love book clubs and Hairpin, so it's like my two favorite tastes swirled together.

mangosara

@Spice&Snails&PuppyDogTails augh wait how do I get in on this book club??? I love books and clubs and live in Boston! is there a Google group?

antarcticastartshere

@Spice&Snails&PuppyDogTails Yes! here!

dormilona

@antarcticastartshere I was going to ask the same thing! (but that link didn't work for me).

I also may/may not have just recommended that my book club read Rebecca next....

antarcticastartshere

@dormilona Yeah, I dunno what happened to my html there. Copy and paste this: https://groups.google.com/d/forum/boston-hairpin-book-club

Nutmeg

@Spice&Snails&PuppyDogTails The library is taking forever to get me this book (probably because I requested 800 other books too haha MINUTEMAN NETWORK SUCKAS [jk I love library networks]) and I am so excited to read this!

PS Boston Hairpin Book Club is like a small pinup where we talk about books while we eat/drink, and is always a great time with awesome people; if you live in Boston, you should totally come! Even if you've never been before! We love new members! Exclamation point!

dormilona

@Nutmeg yay, I signed up!

Spice&Snails&PuppyDogTails

@Spice&Snails&PuppyDogTails The library is taking forever to give one to me, too! MAYBE BECAUSE OF YOU.

anachronistique

@Spice&Snails&PuppyDogTails I'm considering just buying a copy, because it's freaking Rebecca.

Nutmeg

@Spice&Snails&PuppyDogTails I want to be mad at them but they got me A Child's Life to Somerville from Maynard (they're the only library in-network that has this comic book which is a damn shame) in under a week so all is forgiven, Minuteman Network

SarahP

@Nutmeg If we had only known this would be the book, you could've borrowed my copy during the Nutmeg-Raid-on-SarahP's-Library!

allofthecrafts

IS ANYONE ELSE REALLY REALLY REALLY EXCITED ABOUT REBECCA THE MUSICAL BECAUSE I AM REALLY REALLY REALLY EXCITED. And this just reminded me of how excited I am. SO EXCITED.

Oliver St. John Mollusc

@allofthecrafts WHUT. My Playbill friend just told me about The Exorcist, the musical, and how IF it comes to NYC which is apparently not a given, the priest will be played by MALCOLM MCDOWELL OMGPONIES!

Oliver St. John Mollusc

@allofthecrafts also YES SO EXCITED :D

LMac

Fork spirit. Incredible.

teaandcakeordeath

I loved the line “the Mrs. de Winter who gets her tea in bags” so much, I kinda wish it was the name of the book.

TheLetterL

@Bittersweet I loved the Masterpiece Theater "Rebecca." Loved it. Lovvvved it.

Decca

Gosh, I love Daphne du Maurier so much. The first time I read "Don't Look Now", the ending made me literally throw the book across my bedroom in fear. She's the creepiest. The BBC made a biopic of her a couple of years ago that you can watch on Youtube - it's not particularly good, but I enjoyed it. Daphne is played by Harry Potter's mam!

Lucienne

@Decca My Cousin Rachel? I get shivers just thinking about it.

Decca

@Lucienne I went to see a fairly decent stage adaptation of that earlier this summer! It was genuinely disturbing, in a perfect duMaurier way.

Jamaica Inn is another great one. So uncanny.

tootsky

@Decca The one that was on my mom's bookshelf was The House on the Strand. Time travel on drugs! Then I read Rebecca and it was totally different and yet just as shivery. She was amazing.

effystonem

"this house has an actual name
you don’t even have a name" <-- the best

evil melis

guys be honest how BUSTED does Rebecca look in this cover

Megasus

@evil melis Also this cover looks freakishly like a Nancy Drew cover

Chesty LaRue

@evil melis I have a copy from the with a still from the BBC miniseries that is very faded-looking. After I picked it up in a used bookstore because I'd heard it was good, I delayed reading it because I was under the impression it'd be stuffy.
That was a mistake.

Bittersweet

@Megano! The Case of the Freakishly Obsessive Housekeeper. I think this is the one where George murders Bess.

honeybadger

this is relevant to my interests.

Decca

Much as I love her, I'm so relieved that Vivien Leigh didn't get the part of the second Mrs deWinter in the Hitchcock adaptation. Because who would chose some dead hussy over Vivien Leigh?!

Oliver St. John Mollusc

@Decca I love the story about how Hitchcock told Joan Fontaine that everyone on set hated her (which was kind of true but still!) so that she'd be in character ALL THE TIME.

lisma

@Decca Who would play the second Mrs. de Winter in a 2012 movie version?

I can't decide.

Decca

@ginalouise Amanda Bynes.

Decca

@quickdrawkiddo pssst...I heard Larry is going for lunch with Olivia. I heard he said she's the prettier sister

Baby Fish Mouth

@ginalouise Emma Stone? I'm thinking about young actresses who are good at playing awkward. The second Mrs. de Winter needs awkward, lots and lots of awkward.

royaljunk

@Decca Oh me too, Vivian Leigh is much more how I picture Rebecca herself rather than the second Mrs. deWinter, you know?

Oliver St. John Mollusc

@Decca "What, you didn't get the invitation to the wrap party? Larry told me he mailed it. Here, let me just lock you in the cupboard while I go look for it."

pterodactgirl

@Decca My parents own the Rebecca DVD that has Vivien Leigh's and other contenders' screen tests in the special features. I watched all of them at some point a few years ago, and sadly Leigh's was by far the worst. She seems like she's still doing Scarlett O'Hara in it? It was not hard to see why she wasn't cast.

Lucienne

@ginalouise Felicity Jones, maybe.

TheLetterL

@ginalouise Mia Wasikowska?

meetapossum

@Wiscowhitney I think Emma Stone is too strong of a person to play the 2nd Mrs. D.

anachronistique

@ginalouise Rebecca Hall? (I basically want her in everything ever, though.)

lisma

@anachronistique Just went and stared at a bunch of pictures of Rebecca Hall. She is perfect.

PomoFrannyGlass

@ginalouise UM YOU GUYS.........I can't believe I'm the first person to post this:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2012/feb/10/rebecca-remake

Melusina

@ginalouise Mia Wasikowska.

bluewindgirl

@ginalouise Carey Mulligan, obvs. She's got that understated, child-like prettiness.

Yahtzii

Had I read this article before registering to comment, my handle would totally be "the Mrs. de Winter who gets her tea in bags.”

PistolPackinMama

@Yahtzii You can change your user name... I am pretty sure we'd recognize you because of your cute pinata cookie picture... just sayin'.

MELIS!

TheDragon

I have never read this book. I think I should go fix that.

HereKitty

@The Kendragon You will NOT be sorry. Promise.

bitchycrosstownexpress

@The Kendragon Me, neither. I just added it to my "get from the library" list.

TheDragon

@bitchycrosstownexpress I unfortunately am starting a new semester and won't have time to read.

JitterBug

@The Kendragon It's not a very long book and is an excellent brain-is-fried-from-too-much-information read. Or watch the movie (it's wonderful)!

I once did a cultural studies class on Novels to Film which was excellent because of a) fewer compulsory books to read and b) more compulsory movies to watch and, of course, I wrote on Rebecca.

TheDragon

@Belinda@twitter I may have to bring it on a camping trip. :) I like to take a couple of those a year and read read read.

JitterBug

@The Kendragon Sounds delightful!

Nutmeg

@The Kendragon I went to a week-long bluegrass festival a month ago where I spent 90% of my time at my campsite reading (PLOWED through the first two A Song of Ice and Fire books in three days). I justified it by saying I could hear the music from my tent and got a free ticket volunteering- and it was the best vacation ever.

MrsLlama

@The Kendragon seriously, best book EVER. No pressure.

royaljunk

YESSSSSSSSSS, I'VE BEEN WAITING FOR THIS.

PERFECT.

okaycrochet

I was assigned this book in an Honors English class when I was 17. LIFE. CHANGED. FOREVER.

Allisaurus

@okaycrochet One of the librarians at my high school recommended it to me! I was so blown away by descriptions of Mrs. de Winter's super-awkward-shyness, it was like reading my own train of thought. LIFE ALSO CHANGED FOREVER.

Atheist Watermelon

I can't help it... I just read all of this in David Mitchell's Mrs. Danvers voice... Judith Anderson's portrayal has been forever ruined for me

KatPruska

@Didldidi This would be her garden party dress if she's a size 8, and here it is if she's a size 10! And here, if she's a size 12!

Atheist Watermelon

@KatPruska the outtakes from that are pretty amazing too... David Mitchell keeps adlibbing in that scene and the actress is covered in clothes, dying laughing...

MrsLlama

@Didldidi I always love how many David Mitchell fangirls are up in hurrrr (myself included).

Atheist Watermelon

@MrsLlama :-D I have to admit, when I found out he was engaged this summer, I may have shed a tear... and summarily realized that I really... need to get a life. haha.

oh, george

texts from dr. quinn, plz

(if you are taking requests. these are so great, I just...)

sudden but inevitable betrayal

@rora OH MY GOD YES PLEASE YES OH GOD

sudden but inevitable betrayal

@sudden but inevitable betrayal Sully, put your shirt back on.

C.J.'s doing the jackal

Amazing.

I'm going to leave this here, because Mitchell and Webb.

http://youtu.be/fC0vmwhtTu0?t=6m8s
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EtzLcIksivI&feature=relmfu

cabot_cove_syndrome

@C.J.'s doing the jackal What the devil do you think you're playing at?

isavedlatin

"why don't you? why don't you?"

JitterBug

Would Max de Winter write in ALL CAPS Rochester style?

I AM TORTURED AND FILLED WITH ANGST BEFORE THAT WAS REALLY A THING.
I WAS AHEAD OF MY TIME.
JAMES DEAN, YOU OWE ME.
COME TO ME, LITTLE NOT-REBECCA, MRS DE WINTER THE SECOND

SarahP

@Belinda@twitter No way, Max would write in proper sentences. That sleazy "cousin" would've written in all caps though.

wharrgarbl

@SarahP I think the sleazy cousin would have used proper punctuation but abused the shit out of emoticons.

evil melis

THE ABSOLUTE BEST PART of that entire book is when Jack asks everyone nervously "I say, you don't suppose this cancer stuff's contagious, do you?" AND MEANS IT. And no one knows! Not even the doctor!

SarahP

@evil melis I mean, can it be absorbed... through certain... body parts?

SarahP

The R is for Rebecca

<3

stuffisthings

OK so I'd never heard of this (sorry!) but wasn't there a movie on MST3K with the same plot/possibly based on this book?

fondue with cheddar

@stuffisthings Maybe! I'm pretty sure I saw it, but I actually may have seen it on MST3K. A few years ago there was a film festival of old cheesy horror/suspense movies, and I may have seen it there. But it's exactly the sort of thing that would have been on MST3K.

stuffisthings

@jen325 I want to say it was called The Screaming Skull. There was a screaming skull.

SuperGogo

@stuffisthings Yep, I remember that episode. It is sort of Rebecca-esque, except for the fact that much of Screaming Skull makes no damn sense (hence the MST3K treatment). My favorite MST episode is a badly-done imitation, in fact: Hobgoblins.

fondue with cheddar

@stuffisthings That's it! Yeah, I definitely saw that at the film festival and NOT on MST3K.

@SuperGogo It didn't make any more sense when you don't have people talking over it.

stuffisthings

@jen325 *robots

fondue with cheddar

@stuffisthings Technically, person and robots. But Joel's (and Mike's) robot friends will always be people in my heart.

SuperGogo

@jen325 Crow is my spirit animal.

fondue with cheddar

@SuperGogo A Crow T. Robot t-shirt was approximately 20% responsible for my falling for my ex husband in college.

BeebsLaRue

"also one of you is dead and one of you is not"

I love Rebecca and I love this post.

coujones

Part Louis vs. Rick and part Hitchcock. I just watched the Masterpiece Theater version this weekend, so this was perfect!
Love it.

elbows on the table

Seriously, I had to log in from a long time of lurking just to post. This thread had me go buy "The Doll: the Lost Short Stories" and I have been gleefully reading them all day at my desk.

thecoffeestain

This was very awesome and totally made my afternoon. Cheers!

ThundaCunt

oh my God
that is your SALAD fork
this is the fish course
what is wrong with you

*snorted with laughter* Man, I love these!!

TrilbyLane

Was du Maurier ever drawn on what the protagonist's name was?

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