REMEDIATING JANE AUSTEN THROUGH THE GOTHIC: “PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES” by Serena Baiesi Abstract: As the world has recently celebrated the 200th anniversary of the publication of Pride and Prejudice, we also assist to a mass adaptation of its plots, characters and locations by several new media. The aim of my article will be that of discussing a recent transformation of the novel by the American writer Seth Grahame-Smith: his gothic adaptation Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2009). Grahame-Smith has declared that his novel has been constructed around Austen’s original prose: “some 85% of the text is from Austen’s bookshelf classic”, and that “rotting-flesh monsters seem to fit naturally in the Austen’s world of ritual and melodrama”. In short time this novel has become a mass literary success, especially after it has been distributed by the publisher Quirk Books, an American company who releases innovative and “buzzworthy” books in print and digital format that “entertain, amuse, and inform” its readers. This same publisher has also released the Iphone Application Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The Interactive eBook App, which includes hundreds of pages of illustrated, interactive zombie mayhem, the complete text of “P&P” by both authors (Jane Austen and Grahame-Smith), together with original musical score and sound effects. So both these two gothic versions of Austen’s original novel, which are distributed by different media (literary and computer application), are not just inspired by the Romantic novelist, but they keep up a dialogue and a constant reference to her, captivating the readers/players into a constant confrontation between past and present, tradition and innovation, conventions and subversion, seriousness and satire. By consequence, far from being only sterile exploitations of a successful plot, these new “products” are interesting examples of literary and media remediation of the original Pride and Prejudice. They are useful instruments created to engage the contemporary audience to copy and interact with a challenging society, which, far from being stable and rational, is scary and full of mystery. Unexpectedly, Grahame-Smith’s adaptation has much in common with the Regency social background Austen so vividly describes. References: Sutherland, K., Jane Austen’s Textual Lives: from Aeschylus to Bollywood, Oxford: Oxford UP 2004. Grahame-Smith, S., Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Quirk Books, 2009. Hockensmith, S. (author) and P. Arrasmith (illustrator), Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreafuls, Quirk Classics 2010. Hockensmith, S., Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dredfully Ever After, Quirk Classics, 2011.

REMEDIATING JANE AUSTEN THROUGH THE GOTHIC: “PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES”

Serena Baiesi
2017

Abstract

REMEDIATING JANE AUSTEN THROUGH THE GOTHIC: “PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES” by Serena Baiesi Abstract: As the world has recently celebrated the 200th anniversary of the publication of Pride and Prejudice, we also assist to a mass adaptation of its plots, characters and locations by several new media. The aim of my article will be that of discussing a recent transformation of the novel by the American writer Seth Grahame-Smith: his gothic adaptation Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2009). Grahame-Smith has declared that his novel has been constructed around Austen’s original prose: “some 85% of the text is from Austen’s bookshelf classic”, and that “rotting-flesh monsters seem to fit naturally in the Austen’s world of ritual and melodrama”. In short time this novel has become a mass literary success, especially after it has been distributed by the publisher Quirk Books, an American company who releases innovative and “buzzworthy” books in print and digital format that “entertain, amuse, and inform” its readers. This same publisher has also released the Iphone Application Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The Interactive eBook App, which includes hundreds of pages of illustrated, interactive zombie mayhem, the complete text of “P&P” by both authors (Jane Austen and Grahame-Smith), together with original musical score and sound effects. So both these two gothic versions of Austen’s original novel, which are distributed by different media (literary and computer application), are not just inspired by the Romantic novelist, but they keep up a dialogue and a constant reference to her, captivating the readers/players into a constant confrontation between past and present, tradition and innovation, conventions and subversion, seriousness and satire. By consequence, far from being only sterile exploitations of a successful plot, these new “products” are interesting examples of literary and media remediation of the original Pride and Prejudice. They are useful instruments created to engage the contemporary audience to copy and interact with a challenging society, which, far from being stable and rational, is scary and full of mystery. Unexpectedly, Grahame-Smith’s adaptation has much in common with the Regency social background Austen so vividly describes. References: Sutherland, K., Jane Austen’s Textual Lives: from Aeschylus to Bollywood, Oxford: Oxford UP 2004. Grahame-Smith, S., Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Quirk Books, 2009. Hockensmith, S. (author) and P. Arrasmith (illustrator), Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreafuls, Quirk Classics 2010. Hockensmith, S., Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dredfully Ever After, Quirk Classics, 2011.
Serena Baiesi
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/625039
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