Literary Mashups

cover of DanteI have to admit, that when I read in today's New York Times that Electronic Arts is releasing a video game loosely based on Dante's Inferno, I had to both laugh out loud and then consider whether or not I would actually buy this game for myself. Having a PlayStation 3 at home, and having read Inferno for a medieval history class, it is quite tempting to see the, um, differences. Dante as a sword wielding, body-building crusader, clad in armor and trailing shredded ribbons of clothes... far from the casual observer of the epic poem.

But that got me thinking. With all of these mashups of classical literature like Inferno the video game, Beowulf the animated adventure starring Angelina Jolie as Grendel's mother, the Manga Shakespeare series, the novel Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (which also has ninjas), and the forthcoming Android Karenina, what could possibly be next? What other classics could they turn into action-packed thrill rides?

Here are a few of my thoughts.

  • Sid Meier's War and Peace the video game. Civilization Revolution is already half-way there; it's just a quick jump to focusing solely on Napoleon's invasion of Russia.
  • Don Quixote, where his delusions are actually a result of the aliens who implanted a device controlling his mind.
  • The Sun Also Rises MMORPG where you gain experience points by drinking your way across Europe and going to bull fights in Pamplona.
  • Moby Dick the fishing simulator where you work your way up from catching little minnows and guppies to going after the great white whale.

What do you think the next great classic novel mashup will be?