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Old 10-24-2013, 02:32 AM   #46
doubleshuffle
Oi, Artistic License!
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Originally Posted by Hamlet53 View Post
What's on the horizon, Twitter Classics?
Has already been done. Pretty funny stuff, actually.
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Old 10-24-2013, 03:45 AM   #47
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That's pitiful - a further example of catering to the lowest common denominator of the reading public.

See Mr. Bennett.
See Mr. Bennett read a book.
Mr. Bennett is in his library.
Mr. Bennett has many daughters.
It is very noisy in Mr. Bennett's house.
But it is quiet in the library.


I guess I must have been a child prodigy because I read Austen when I was about 14 and actually understood what I read, in the style it was written.
Have you actually bothered to look at the link I posted? This is an adaptation; it's not "dumbed down" in the manner you seem to think it is. Is "West Side Story" a "dumbed down" version of "Romeo and Juliet"? Is "Forbidden Planet" a "dumbed down" version of "The Tempest"? No. They are simply adaptations.
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Old 10-24-2013, 09:39 AM   #48
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There have been innumerable modern interpretations of Shakespeare. "West Side Story", to name but one example, is an adaptation of "Romeo and Juliet". I think many people would say that West Side Story is an excellent work in its own right, and can be enjoyed without the least knowledge of Shakespeare. Heck, I strongly suspect that the overwhelming majority of people who watch it don't even realise that it is an adaptation of Shakespeare.
But ... to follow up on this point .... the plot device/theme of star crossed lovers from warring families/clans, etc. was not new with Shakespeare, and has been used in other settings/centuries successfully. You don't have to have read, or be aware of, the 'original' occurrence of a theme in literature to enjoy the version before you.

BUT, Austen's novels are firmly linked to their temporal setting. Her novels contain characters whose conversation, actions, settings, and life stories make sense only in their respective century. That's what makes them such rich reading - you enter another world in another time - and follow the lives of characters whose lives follow rules quite different from your own. That's the charm of reading Austen in the 21st century.

If you want to read about families living in the 21st century, there are scores of novels published each year. There's no need to temporally transplant characters, or mangle plot lines, to 'update' a classic novel for contemporary readers.

Modern authors can write a novel as an homage to a prior author's work, but it is an original creation, not a copy or 'update'. For example, Cynthia Ozick is one of the foremost scholars on the works of Henry James. Her novel Foreign Bodies is an homage to James' The Ambassadors. But her novel is not a simple updating of James' plot line to set it in the 1950's. Instead, Ozick created a unique world of her own, whose characters loosely follow the general plot of The Ambassadors but their stories belong to them (and Ozick), not to James. That's the difference.
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Old 10-24-2013, 10:53 AM   #49
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This is a tempest in a teaspoon; put away the pitchforks and torches, no one is taking Jane Austen away. I have no interest in reading this adaptation. I suppose some people might read it who were put off by the language of the original. Perhaps it won't be as good, but that doesn't make it 'pablum'. Others might read it because they liked the original. But the original will be utterly unharmed.
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Old 10-24-2013, 11:08 AM   #50
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I would have no interest reading the classics this way, especially for books like P&P which I found perfectly understandable in its original form.

However, I suppose if I was the author of such a book, I would be flattered that someone would think enough of my work to attempt to adapt it this way. Maybe somewhere in heaven Jane Austen is smiling at all the attention her works garner.

--Pat
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Old 10-24-2013, 11:28 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by doubleshuffle View Post
Has already been done. Pretty funny stuff, actually.
Thanks for that link. Those Twitter versions listed are very funny. To bad the book is no linger available. I'd buy it if the price was not much. It did inspire me to my own Twitter Hamlet:

Dad dead. Did uncle do it? What to do? Everyone dies.
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Old 10-24-2013, 02:45 PM   #52
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Thanks for that link. Those Twitter versions listed are very funny. To bad the book is no linger available. I'd buy it if the price was not much. It did inspire me to my own Twitter Hamlet:

Dad dead. Did uncle do it? What to do? Everyone dies.
Actually, the book is available for Kindle... http://www.amazon.com/Twitterature-G...s=twitterature
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Old 10-24-2013, 03:13 PM   #53
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And this is not about doing a clever twist, like Clueless being a take off of Emma. This is about dumbing down the language and situations of the original story because they're supposed to be 'too hard'.
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Old 10-24-2013, 04:41 PM   #54
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I'm getting a vibe from this thread -similar to what happens when you start discussing Richard III...
People have such set opinions on Austen and Richard - and yet it has started a conversation that might not have been held in the first place. So what if there is a modern adaptation? Readers might think - 'I'd like to read the original' and those who would never have picked Austen up before might give it her a try.
I became a history addict through a similar route- I HATED history at school, but as an adult read a Margaret George historical fiction book that made me wonder if actual history could be as exciting...from there I went to the library (yes, it was a long time ago) and started reading about the Tudors - and was hooked forever after.
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Old 10-24-2013, 04:52 PM   #55
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I am a bit confused as to the concept and my reactions to it. I was a might annoyed when I found out at 15 (A bit slow but no internet then) that the readers digest versions weren't the whole deal. Bitter even. But I did enjoy the Readers Digest versions so why was I whining?

Overall I guess it is fine. If someone wants to publish them and someone wants to read them, more power to both. Even if they are slightly dumbed down, which I don't know that they are, is that so bad? I started out reading Nursery Rhymes and Comic books.

Helen
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Old 10-24-2013, 08:29 PM   #56
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I think it is very similar to how some that love classical music felt when they started making mixes out of and modernizing some of classic symphonies. Those were some interesting times and it is almost like deja vu for me with what I am seeing here in this thread. I still really didn't like it with classical music. But, if it gets people to want to listen to it in one way or another, who am I to complain. I feel the same way about the classical literature being discussed here.
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Old 10-24-2013, 09:46 PM   #57
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I would be fine with such a re-write, if anybody wants to read it. But then keep Jane Austen's name off the new book. It won't be her work anymore.
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Old 10-25-2013, 12:45 AM   #58
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I think it is very similar to how some that love classical music felt when they started making mixes out of and modernizing some of classic symphonies. Those were some interesting times and it is almost like deja vu for me with what I am seeing here in this thread. I still really didn't like it with classical music. But, if it gets people to want to listen to it in one way or another, who am I to complain. I feel the same way about the classical literature being discussed here.
There was similar controversy about colorizing classic films that were shot in b&w back in the day too I think. Though the results of such varied with the choice of colors I think. I don't think the fad of colorizing old b&w films lasted that long though either. Most people seemed to prefer the films as they were originally shot I guess.
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Old 10-25-2013, 03:51 AM   #59
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I would be fine with such a re-write, if anybody wants to read it. But then keep Jane Austen's name off the new book. It won't be her work anymore.
Perhaps my eyesight is failing me, but I don't see her name on it.

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Old 10-25-2013, 03:54 AM   #60
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And this is not about doing a clever twist, like Clueless being a take off of Emma. This is about dumbing down the language and situations of the original story because they're supposed to be 'too hard'.
No, it's about modernising the language and situations. That's not at all the same thing as "dumbing down".
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