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Zombies make anything better. February 3, 2009

Posted by jmoran21 in Humor, Hypertext.

There are more than a few gaps in my exposure to the so-called “essentials” of human creativity, and my efforts in high school (or lack there-of) probably has something to do with this. In any case, I’ve never cracked the spine of a Jane Austin novel, and indeed the closest I’ve gotten is the theatrical trailers for films inspired by her novels. I may have to rectify this situation, if a new novel turns out to be anywhere near as amusing as its premise: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Based on the classic of the same-ish name, the text is a mash-up of the original, along with “all-new scenes of bone-crunching zombie action.”

Disclaimer: I haven’t yet read this collaboration between Jane Austin and Mr. Seth Grahame-Smith, nor have I attempted to find and critical descriptions, so for all I know it’s a peice of crap. It is mainly the idea which excites me; despite being a print media work, the idea feels very new media. Bizarre juxtapositions are not a new concept (The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen jumps to mind), so I don’t overcredit the author of Zombies. When I first read about the novel, though, it made me think on the potential this idea has for hypertext. Using well known literature classics, one could integrate links to borderline incongrous subplots. Example: The USS Enterprise is involved in a time-traveling accident that sends it back to 17th century Massachusetts, showing that it was in fact James Kirk who fathered Pearl Prynne. Plenty of other genres and characters could be matched up through this format, as long as the author of the mash-up has the skill to integrate his own text with the original in a sensible, appealing way. Maybe I’ll give it a shot.



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