pride and prejudice and zombies

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The Potential of Classic Parodies -- Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, a book and now a film parodying Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, playfully recycles Elizabeth Bennet’s story into a quirky — perhaps campy — tale that is more digestible for wide audiences. The parody references famous lines and scenes from the original, humoring those who have read and adored the book. Additionally, it opens up the less accessible media of ‘classic novel’ to a 21st century audience, hopefully piquing their interest in something they would never have considered before. Books like "Texts from Jane Eyre" and others rehash the favorite characters of English majors, but perhaps also open up older literature to young people only attracted to the young adult fiction section.

Are these tactics effective to opening up classics to a new generation? What is the effect of adding zombies to a story such as Pride and Prejudice? How do well-read critics of classics take to these parodies?

  • On the flipside the writer could also talk about taking more contemporary work and making it seem classic like how they wrote Star Wars like a Shakespeare play. – Jaye Freeland 5 years ago
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  • It could lead to some interest, but it would be uncertain whether these zombie version of classics would lead to reading the original. I think it depends on whether these parodies emphasize the theme or strengths of the classics or simply have fun by writing zombie stories in unlikely setting. – idleric 5 years ago
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  • What a fun topic! I know that my teenage sisters were prompted to read the original P&P after the release of P&P&Z. One might address how people love to "get it;" these new parody books are not only entertaining on their own, but might lead to reading the original just so that one "gets" the parody. – sophiacatherine 5 years ago
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  • Literary webseries are less quirky but seem to share the goal of getting younger people interested in older stories. I have little interest in reading classics like Pride & Prejudice, Emma, and Mansfield Park, but I feel like I know and enjoy the stories of those classics because of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, Emma Approved, and From Mansfield with Love. Shakespearean adaptations like Nothing Much To Do and Shakes: The Town's the Thing do the same thing: the bard's timeless stories in plain, modern English. Perhaps this is a little outside the scope of this topic, or perhaps P&P&Z isn't quite broad enough and a writers needs some more more material to flesh out an article (no pun intended). – noahspud 4 years ago
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