When humorist Sarah Schmelling transformed Hamlet into a Facebook news feed on McSweeney’s, it launched the next big humor trend—Facebook lit. In this world, the king “pokes” the queen, Hamlet becomes a fan of daggers, and Ophelia renounces her interest in moody princes. Now, what began as an internet phenomenon is a book. Ophelia Joined The Group Maidens Who Don’t Float: Classic Lit Signs on to Facebook is a clever spoof of the most-trafficked social networking website and a playful game of literary who’s who. The book brings more than fifty authors and stories from classic literature back to life and online, and it is sure to have book lovers and Facebook addicts alike twittering with joy.
From The Odyssey to The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Pride and Prejudice to Lolita, Schmelling brings the conventions of social networking—profile pages, status updates, news feeds, games and quizzes—to some of literature’s most well-known works, authors and characters. What would Edgar Allan Poe, Jane Austen or James Joyce post on their “walls”? What would Gulliver, Miss Havisham or Captain Ahab say in a status update? After William Shakespeare welcomes all of these players into his network, mayhem quickly ensues:
- Elizabeth Bennet throws a sheep at Mr. Darcy
- Hamlet posts an event: A Play That’s Totally Fictional and In No Way About My Family
- Jane Eyre listens to “Hard Knock Life” on repeat
- The Lord of the Flies boys form a reunion group
- Ernest Hemingway questions the validity of the “Are you a real man?” quiz
- Mark Twain infiltrates Oscar Wilde’s profile page and challenges him to a “quip off”
- Oedipus works on his family tree
Following everyone from Frankenstein’s Monster to King Lear’s Fool, Charles Dickens to Virginia Woolf, Ophelia Joined The Group Maidens Who Don’t Float is a loving spoof of our literary favorites, and a hilarious collection for a twenty-first century generation of readers. Long live the Classics: 2.0!