Sarah Schmelling has written about entertainment, travel, and pop culture for The Washington Post, Spin, Paste, Salon, Newsweek, Real Simple, the Los Angeles Times, Variety, McSweeney’s, and The Huffington Post. She lives with her husband and son outside of Washington, DC. Ophelia Joined The Group Maidens Who Don’t Float: Classic Lit Signs On To Facebook is her first book.
Ophelia Joined the Group Maidens Who Don't Float: Classic Lit Signs on to Facebookby Sarah Schmelling
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/i>/i>/b>
Read Sarah Schmelling's posts on the Penguin Blog.
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!
- Penguin Publishing Group
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- Age Range:
- 18 Years
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It's no secret that I love classic lit, and I love literary jokes (I think it's safe to say this to other book lovers) so when I saw the book Ophelia Joined the Group Maidens Who Don't Float: Classic Lit Signs on to Facebook by Sarah Schmelling I had to buy it. Literally had to, I couldn't wait to get it. And let me tell you my friends, it was worth full-price. Let me sum up the book for you the short way: Classic Lit characters and authors on Facebook. Status updates, groups, poking and all. This book at me laughing for a week. I loved the passage on Jane Eyre, obviously. I'll give you a little taste of Jane's News Feed so you get an idea of what this book is like: "Jane Eyre has "Hard Knock Life" on repeat. John Reed sent his cousin Jane a Book (at her head). John PICKED A FIGHT with Jane using the Violent British Children application. Result: SWEET! Jane won! Her fuming little British girl just taught John's irritating British boy the meaning of pain. Ouch! Mrs. Reed does not see how in fact Jane won. Jane took the Quiz: What Color Room Should You Not Be In? with the result "Red."" Another one of my favorites was from the Oedipus Rex section: "Oedipus has some things to talk over with the wife." I just couldn't help myself with this book. I laughed out loud everywhere. In my bedroom, at work, secretly reading in lecture. It was just too funny. I'll be honest though, I only read the sections about books I read or authors I was familiar with, which was actually about 75% of the book. I know this is a book I will come back to when I read some of the other selections included. I'll admit it, I've read the Jane Eyre section four times already.
If you've got a friend who has a Facebook addiction (or if you admit to one) and also harbors a love of books then Schmelling's follow-up to her "Hamlet News Feed" for McSweeney's Internet Tendency is juuuust right. She's created old-style Facebook feeds (remember those?) for classic literature spanning over two millennia - Homer to Beckett. Lizzie throws a sheep at Darcy, Jane Austen wonders how she has accumulated thousands of friend requests, Dracula simply can't get the hang of the Vampire app, and Puck hijacks your feed. Let Shakespeare be your disgruntled guide to the classics on Facebook.