We’ve all seen them, the classic books that have been around forever re-written with new twists: zombies, vampires and scandalous mysteries. Now a publisher has added eroticism to the list, and suddenly the airwaves are alive with discussions about how wrong this is. Was it wrong to have Little Women and Zombies? Was it wrong to have Jane Austin herself solving mysteries? What about Mr. and Mrs. Darcy being exposed to murder.
No, it’s the sex.
It doesn’t matter if the writing is better, or worse. It doesn’t matter if it’s creative or not. It doesn’t even matter if the couples are gay or heterosexual. What matters is that they’ve taken a classic and made it sexy.
Now I do this with my own writing. I take classic fairy tales, modernize and make them hotter. And I’m not the only person doing this, why is there no furor about fairy tale’s being re-written. And I’m certainly not the first. When Ann Rice re-wrote Sleeping Beauty into an erotica (not a romance btw) people were scandalized, but I don’t recall the furor of today’s book banning conversations.
So is it really about the sex? Or is it about the combination of sex with certain classics. Are certain books untouchable?
I think that’s it. Fairy tales have been for children, so jazzing them up and changing them around doesn’t bother anyone. And even worse, Jane Austin’s books are romance. And we all know that women writing about romance aren’t truly classics. No, it’s when you take a book that was written by a man, then add the sex, we see the drama.
Actually, Total E-Bound’s new catalog is filled with women’s classics. Jane Eyre and Pride and Predjudice are both there. But I think if they had stuck to purely romance and women writers, they would have been ignored. By adding classics such as Sherlock Holmes, and Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, that’s where I believe they opened themselves up to the raging criticism. Or possibly it’s the way these books are written. The actual text from the original authors remains mostly untouched, the erotic authors have simply added their own “extra” scenes.
Twists or adulterous versions, what do you think? Why are these particular books causing such a uproar? And what about the talk about book banning? Would you ever consider banning a book? Why?
Links to critical reviews:
I wrote this blog based on the rumors that these books were being trashed in the mainstream media, but when I went to search for links to the articles, they were hard to find. Instead I mostly found supportive interested columns. Maybe there isn’t as much furor as I thought. Here are a few supportive links:
The Classics Exposed…Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne and Marie Sexton
Professor Pierre Aronnax, world-renowned Naturalist, is part of
an elite team of men commissioned to investigate a series of
attacks on international shipping. Are the attacks the work of
some ancient sea monster, or is this “monster” actually a
manmade vessel? No one is certain, but either way, Pierre’s
assignment is the same: find it and destroy it.
The hunt soon becomes tedious, and Pierre is distracted by Ned
Land, a sexy and temperamental harpooner who has his sights set
on the Professor. The two begin a passionate affair, but an
encounter with the creature they seek changes everything.
Professor Aronnax, Ned Land, and their friend Conseil find
themselves held hostage aboard The Nautilus, a secret submarine
helmed by the mysterious Captain Nemo. For Pierre, life on The
Nautilus is ideal. He spends his days studying the sea’s
wonders, and his nights with Ned, discovering a passion he’s
never known. But how long can it last? Captain Nemo is reckless,
and Ned is determined to escape. Caught between two charismatic
men and the opportunity of a lifetime, Pierre will have to
choose: leave The Nautilus, or lose the man he loves forever?