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…