Literary Mashup Messup Followup

Here are a few of my favorite comments:

“Literary Mashups’ take a classic tale and turn it into something hardly recognizable.  I understand that part of their benefit is attacking younger generations to read classic novels. I wonder how effective this really is?  However, I feel that a piece of the original book’s soul is taken away by the changes made. If the story line took on a new plotline, instead of coping an original, I would have more of a positive feeling towards these novels.” -Kelsey Ketch, Author

This one is particularly interesting because of the first paragraph. She makes an excellent point…

“First thing of interest to note is that you have had to censor your blog – it’s a very fine line, public blogging. It’s often difficult to gauge what you should or shouldn’t write, depending on who your readers might be and especially if it’s tied in with your profession. So what is “the right way” to write a blog? True to yourself, or true to the image you wish to put forward?

Anyway, literary mashups.

I have never actually read any of these; I have picked one up in a book store and perhaps sniggled at the idea of a zombie Jane Austen romance, but I have never felt any urge to buy it. I suppose I might read one, if a copy somehow managed to find its way into my hands and I had nothing else better to read.

I often have to remind myself that some artistic ventures (be it a song, a performance, or a book) are intrinsically for entertainment only. Not every book needs to be part of the great literary canon of classics, and just because it is paperback chick lit (or whatever) does not make it any less valid as a book. So whilst I myself have little to no interest in reading literary mashups, I can still see the entertainment value that might appeal to others. Obviously the shelf life (books… shelves…ha!) of these kinds of books isn’t eternal; another consumerist fad in the world of literature.” Rhiannon Pilkington, Administrative Secretary, Macmillan London

And last but not least, an old friend of ours, D.M.,

“Okay, well you know that I like some of those mash ups. Lincoln kicking some Vampire butt! And Jane Austen Zombies – that’s pretty much a cool idea. But I think that there are too many vamp/zombie mash ups going on. Now with Androids! Hmm. I can’t judge a book that I have not read. But I feel like this is a quick burn out trend, not something that will turn the lit world on its ear.

You know it’s like making a thousand zombies movies because the one did well. It’s what I like to call box filler. Most people don’t really care about the Casper turds (those funky styrofoam squigglies), it’s just filler to take up space. I think that some of these books are Casper turds taking up shelf space, to make a quick sale.

Cut to me being offered to do a mash up and eating all my words!!!! Because that is how the world works.” -D.M. Cunningham

Thanks to everyone who weighed in on this special and apparently tender subject. Also, here is a interesting article USA Today did on the subject. Quirk Books, makes an interesting point:

“We’re having discussions on how far we can push this formula,” Quirk publisher Jason Rekulak says. “What I don’t want to do is something like The Scarlet Letter and Dinosaurs, where you just take a classic because it’s a classic and add an element because it’s an element.”

4 thoughts on “Literary Mashup Messup Followup

  1. Pingback: Literary Mashup Messup Followup « Ketch Tavern

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