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READING: Literary Mashups - What do you think of them?

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5 June 2009, 07:24 PM   #1
Joined: 11 Mar 2009
Posts: 212
So this seems to be a relatively new thing happening "literary mashups"...think of taking
what has been done with music for a long time now transposed to literature.

One recent example that has been a hit is: "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies"

excerpt from an article:

Although Quirk Books is known predominantly for well-designed, amusing nonfiction, the
Philadelphia-based indie has found an unexpected success in a new novel, a literary
mash-up called Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. A tweaked version of Jane Austen's beloved
classic--here flesh-eating undead monsters are thrown into the mix--the book has been
defying expectations; Quirk is into its sixth printing after releasing the title on April
1 and has over 120,000 copies in print.

Quirk publicity manager Melissa Monachello, who said the house is scrambling to keep up
with demand, admitted that Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is somewhat unusual for the
publisher. "This is the first time we've reworked a classic piece of literature," she
said. "However, the irreverent nature of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies fits into our
list well."

The book--lovingly referred to in-house as P&P&Z--was the brainchild of editorial director
Jason Rekulak. Rekulak said he's long enjoyed the online mash-ups that recast existing
media into new entities, and cited examples like DJ Dangermouse's Grey Album (which melded
Jay Z's Black Album with the Beatles' White Album) and the swath of recut movie trailers,
popular on YouTube, which manipulate movie themes. Confident the mash-up model could work
for books, Rekulak started brainstorming potential projects.


you can google up more on the topic if you want to read more.

so general questions

1: what do you think of this?  is it a fresh new look at classic literature or an

2: if you were to Mashup some works of literature what suggestions do you have?

like maybe a 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea meets Moby Dick meets Sea Wolf?

or I personally would love an Ivanhoe mashup with Robin Hood

maybe a Twilight mash-up with Harry Potter?

6 June 2009, 12:32 PM   #2
Guest Poster
 Twilight with HP!!!!

6 June 2009, 12:43 PM   #3
Guest Poster
I have that book. Well, I lent it to someone, I need to get it back and read it...

It's actually been done an awful lot, it's just this one has the right ingredients to
break into the mainstream. I study [contemporary] writing so we encounter this kind of
stuff fairly often. I've done quite a lot of similar stuff myself. Mainly with texts such
as other people's diary entries, google results, and chat logs, but I did a fairly large
piece with an excerpt of Twilight and a small excerpt from Harry Potter. I'll post links
if anyone is curious.

And now I notice the last line of your post...

Tony Lopez did a similar thing with poetry, taking sentences from a multitude of sources
and putting them together. Some of Prynne's work (try Price Tag Song) has a similar vibe,
but I'm not sure whether he used that methodology.

There have been many, many, 'translations' of old fairy-tales.

William S. Burroughs' cut-up technique can be used to achieve interesting effects with old

There are other examples, I'll post them as I remember.

As for whether it's an abomination, I'd say no, of course. They're nearly always
interesting, and they don't destroy the texts they juxtapose (well, they /could/, I guess,
but none of these examples do). They're interesting to make, too. If you're a beginning
writer, it's a useful task to go through and really delve in to a text you admire. Perhaps
copy it out slowly and considerately, rewrite it, juxtapose it with a different text, or
whatever. It's always enlightening, like tracing/copying the works or styles of artists.

6 June 2009, 01:38 PM    #4
Joined: 11 Mar 2009
Posts: 212
thanks for your insightful comments Steve

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