Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Mash-ups

I like to think that some things are greater than the sum of their parts. For instance, each TIWTPITF post is pretty rad in and of itself. But when seen in total, it’s mind-blowingly awesome. But then there are mash-ups, video, literary, and musical medleys that are pretty much pastiches of crap. Crap + crap = huge steaming pile of crap.

I never really like medleys at awards shows. They always seem disjointed and rarely flow from one song to another with any finesse. But musical mashups actually are released as singles, as though they are a new, interesting creation.

Guess what? They’re not.

Then there is the current literary trend toward mashups. Take Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, for example. I had an open mind, and not the kind that gives zombies access to my brains. But this new interpretation of one of my most beloved books is a monstrosity, and not in a good way. The co-“author” just took Jane Austen’s public domain text and sprinkled zombie shenanigans around key scenes. As I read it, I just kept thinking that the zombie text was getting in the way of Austen’s elegant, biting prose. I wanted to get back to the meat of the story, which has nothing to do with the undead or Charlotte Lucas’s increasingly gray pallor. The concept was admittedly genius (I love me some Quirk Books) but I want substance with my style, not a hackneyed attempt to ride on the coattails of a literary giant like Jane Austen.

If you uninspired leeches continue to co-opt legitimate works of art and bleed them of their brilliance, I’m going to have to bring about some bloodshed of my own. And no, it doesn’t involve snacking on the undeveloped right side of your cerebrum.

7 comments:

priti.lisa said...

I love when I agree with you. I do. I just don't know why you bought it...or read it

David said...

I have an idea for a book describing how an online social network fails to realize a Utopian existence...it could be called "Animal Farmville."

David said...

Or a book about an orphan who performs songs from the Isley Brothers called "Oliver Twist and Shout."

Jennifer Worick said...

David, you're killing me. Priti.Lisa: I was trying to keep an open mind, as I have published some books with Quirk and really like them. I like to be familiar with the things I hate on.

Chris said...

HA! I think this is a nice little exercise to do for yourself when you are in a gimmicky sort of mood, but when it's something done for publication, it just looks like a lack of imagination. Come up with your own plot, characters, story, and then do a mash-up of THAT. Leave other people's googies alone.

Fanboy Wife said...

I haven't heard of that before with literature. That sounds terrible.

猶豫 said...
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