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17 July 2012 @ 07:15 pm

One of the people responsible for this nonsense is quoted as saying that she wondered whether Charlotte Bronte would write erotica if she were alive today.

Which is the kind of dumb hypothetical that annoys me anyway (see also: Shakespeare would totally be writing movies/TV/graphic novels/whatever thing it is I'm trying to sell right now!), but it is also totally irrelevant. Because you know what Charlotte Bronte probably wouldn't do? Take a book that was ALREADY WRITTEN BY SOMEONE ELSE and then just add random sex scenes to it.

(I am sticking this under the "vampire sparklepocalypse" tag because I feel pretty certain that we would not be here, 50 Shades or no, if not for P&P&Z. I mean, at least 50 Shades bothered to file off the serial numbers and involved writing original text at some point.)
Neaneadods on July 18th, 2012 12:12 am (UTC)
It's not even a new idea to ride those coattails; I remember someone giving me a "racy bits" Austen pastiche years ago. Frankly, it was creepy.
tempestsarekindtempestsarekind on July 18th, 2012 01:26 am (UTC)
Seriously! There are already sexytimes Austen novels, which kind of weird me out, but at least they are separate novels, not just the original novels with sex scenes added. Bah.
viomisehuntviomisehunt on July 18th, 2012 01:17 am (UTC)
Oh. Well. How many classics did Shakespeare adapt? Then again, why not simply research and write a sexy novel of that time period. Sad, sad, sad.
tempestsarekindtempestsarekind on July 18th, 2012 01:30 am (UTC)
That's my point, though: these aren't even real adaptations. Those have been around for a while. These are literally the *original* text of the novels, with some sex scenes added. Shakespeare didn't take the original text of, say, Holinshed's Chronicles and just add a scene here and there; he actually had to reshape and rewrite the material he was using.
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tempestsarekind: elizabeth bennet is amusedtempestsarekind on July 18th, 2012 01:36 am (UTC)
Hee! Yeah, I was going to write "...with random sex scenes rammed in" in a comment above, but I realized I might want to avoid that formulation, given the context.

I think these people (and here I mean all of the people who think classic novels require this sort of doctoring to be interesting) think that all 19th-century novels are prim and boring - so let's add sex! Or vampires! Or both, why not? BLEH.
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tempestsarekindtempestsarekind on July 18th, 2012 01:45 am (UTC)
The jokes just write themselves!

I think maybe Heathcliff was a half-vampire, which an LJ friend of mine pointed out is kind of impossible, since vampires do not reproduce sexually.. But yes; the funniest thing about the jacket copy for Wuthering Bites (*eyeroll*) was how it more or less just sounded like the original novel!
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tempestsarekindtempestsarekind on July 18th, 2012 02:13 am (UTC)
Ha ha. This conversation is unexpectedly...I'm going to go with "difficult." Yeah.

And that's so right - that book is already Gothic and morbid and queasily sensual and self-destructive; throwing in a vampire or two is really not going to add anything, here.
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tempestsarekind: viola giggletempestsarekind on July 18th, 2012 03:10 am (UTC)
the cold geniusangevin2 on July 18th, 2012 05:13 am (UTC)
I have never gotten over the fact that it's much more sensible, if you MUST do that sort of Wuthering Heights pastiche, to make Heathcliff a WEREWOLF. I mean, come on. You could even still call it Wuthering Bites!
tempestsarekindtempestsarekind on July 18th, 2012 05:27 am (UTC)
This is clearly why he has to run off to the graveyard at regular intervals. *nods*
La Reine Noire: Austen - Venting Spleenlareinenoire on July 18th, 2012 07:50 am (UTC)
See, winter_hermit and I were only joking about our P&P&Z knockoff titled Northanger Abbey and Ninja, where it turns out Catherine Morland's conspiracy theories were in fact completely warranted, but now I'm wondering if we're in fact sitting on a goldmine...
tempestsarekind: austen snark is the best snarktempestsarekind on July 18th, 2012 02:08 pm (UTC)

Yeah, I just *knew* that this trend was going to die off quickly (seriously, what is the appeal?), and yet, here we still are. It makes me a little angry, I have to say: apparently being a published author doesn't require talent or hard work or originality - just a willingness to take a great novel and add whatever random nonsense to it that a publisher thinks will sell, based on whatever random trend is on at the moment.
La Reine Noire: Epic Faylelareinenoire on July 18th, 2012 07:58 pm (UTC)
I have no idea what the appeal is. I remember getting about halfway through P&P&Z and just not understanding what it was that people liked so much. Argh.
tempestsarekind: wtf?tempestsarekind on July 18th, 2012 08:06 pm (UTC)
You're braver than I am; I've never done more than read the copy on the back of the book!
La Reine Noire: Epic Faylelareinenoire on July 18th, 2012 08:17 pm (UTC)
Brave is one word. I have also read all four Twilight books. These are hours of my life that I will never, ever see again. ;)
tempestsarekind: books and flowerstempestsarekind on July 18th, 2012 08:37 pm (UTC)
Tee hee. I did read one Twilight book, as, inexplicably, someone told me it was like Robin McKinley's Sunshine, but I stopped at one. :)
teliesinteliesin on July 18th, 2012 10:22 am (UTC)
I agree, why oh why? Might as well have racy pictures, and Popups*

tempestsarekind: ten is a bookwormtempestsarekind on July 18th, 2012 02:09 pm (UTC)
So much innuendo, so little time...
Ten O'Clock Medievalist: even more inappropriate monk lovetarimanveri on July 18th, 2012 04:20 pm (UTC)
I just have to say that this travesty is almost worth it just because it gave rise (heh) to the savage mocking you've given it in the comments here. Best mocking in the history of ever!
tempestsarekind: elizabeth bennet is amusedtempestsarekind on July 18th, 2012 04:47 pm (UTC)
*giggle* Well, I'm glad some good has come of it, at least!
viomisehuntviomisehunt on July 19th, 2012 01:01 am (UTC)
Speaking of modern interpretations of classics, were you aware of this: http://www.mix-d.org/museum/timeline/wuthering-heights-2011

What is interesting about this casting is that Merle Oberon was cast as Cathy--she spent her entire life in horror that someone would discover that she was as they used to say "Half-Caste" that is of blended Asian and English heritage.

Edited at 2012-07-19 01:05 am (UTC)
tempestsarekindtempestsarekind on July 19th, 2012 01:17 am (UTC)
Huh. I'd heard of the adaptation and about the casting for Heathcliff, but I didn't know that about Cathy. Thanks for the link!
viomisehuntviomisehunt on July 19th, 2012 05:27 pm (UTC)
Did you mean about 'Cathy' or do you mean you didn't know that Merle Oberon had spent years trying to hide her Asian ancestry, especially in Hollywood where there were standing laws about blended ancestry marriage? The Merle Oberan version is the most famous film adaptation of the novle, but it was made in 1939.

Edited at 2012-07-19 05:29 pm (UTC)
tempestsarekindtempestsarekind on July 19th, 2012 06:39 pm (UTC)
The latter, sorry - typing while tired! I didn't know that the older adaptation had similar casting resonances with the most recent one.
viomisehuntviomisehunt on July 19th, 2012 10:19 pm (UTC)
In 1939, few people and probably no one in Hollywood knew of Miss Oberan's heritage, so there was no controversy. If any of the producers knew, they kept it silent or she would have been restricted in roles like This actress ten years before. The laws in the US had not changed. Usually they got an "exotic" looking white woman like Miss Oberan to play the parts. Irony was on them. But at the time they felt they were casting an upper class white actress in the the role of an upper class white woman. I think one of her nephews wrote her biography a few years ago and he talked about her terror of being discovered. I guess there is some debate as to whether she was Chinese or Indian. Either way it was a small "scandal".



Anna--of Anna and the King Siam fame-- was also of blended descent and she kept it quiet, but it is said her nephew -- or great nephew Boris Karloff was quite open about his Asian ancestry.
tempestsarekindtempestsarekind on July 20th, 2012 01:39 am (UTC)
Thanks - I really don't know much about movie history, and I certainly didn't know about this!