Remix Literature

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The famous quote “good artists copy; great artists steal” by Pablo Picasso seems to drive the modern creative industry. With the readily availability of technology, remix culture knows no boundaries. Anybody can create memes, Photoshop celebrities and add a few baselines to an old classic to make a new top 40 hit. I’ve recently discovered that remix literature is a thing and am fascinated by the drive some people have to create.

Classic literature is an interesting field to look at when exploring remix culture. There is a plethora of great works that are sitting in the public domain, waiting for creatives to do their thing. Classic books in the public domain include Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, Ulysses by James Joyce, Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle, and Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, recently remixed as Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame Smith.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies has become known as the first mainstream remix novel and has produced two follow-ups, effectively turning the classic Austin novel into a commercially profitable franchise.

There’s also another Jane Austin remix novel called ‘Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters’, with talk of a film version in the works…

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Further Reading:

https://www.alluvium-journal.org/2013/03/26/remix-culture-and-the-literary-mashup/

http://www.thecreativepenn.com/2009/09/23/remix-my-lit-literature-thats-read-and-write/

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One thought on “Remix Literature

  1. Hi Michael! I really liked that you decided to do your remix post on literature instead of music, because I think a lot of people forget music isn’t the only think that we remix. You are completely right wth how people have taken a lot of olden classics and turned them into something new or modern. For example the movie She’s the Man was based off Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night and let’s not even begin to go over Romeo and Juliet adaptations. I think what’s interesting to think about is why? Why people want to remix these things, what is about it that so entertain? (Personally, I just like the idea of cultural changes being explored, so if Shakespeare says that’s how it would go down in his era, I’m very keen to see what would happen if we put it in a modern context.)

    Liked by 1 person

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