Rewriting Classics, or Why I Will Be Murdered By Herman Melville’s Ghost

English: Illustration from an early edition of...

I’ve got your white whale right here. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So, my friend Kat, who blog over here, was reading Fifty Shades of Grey* and texting me some of the more hilarious lines.** And she mentioned that a friend of hers had jokingly told her to write Fifty Shades of Dorian Grey as her next writing project.

…You probably see where this is going.

So, purely as a creative exercise, we began coming up with titles for erotic versions of classic novels. And now I’ve come up with plots for some of them. Again, purely creative.

Stop judging me.

So here’s the highlights (and maybe your new summer reading list):

Moby’s Dick: Captain Ahab realizes his obsession with the ‘white whale’ is just a Freudian misdirect to avoid dealing with his dual attraction to the wandering sailor Ishmael and the handsome harpooner Queequag.*** When the boat is far out to sea, he begins his ‘hunt’…

The Caning of the Shrew: When his attempt at courtship fails, Petruchio must find a new way to woo the bad-tempered dominatrix Katerina. An introduction to the world of BDSM gives him a new plan: become her latest sub.

The Gropes of Wrath: On the road to California, Tom Joad encounters a frisky parole officer bent on returning him to Oklahoma. His only way to remain with his family is to give the officer something else to chase.

She Poops to Conquer: A comedy of manners, as a young woman posing as a house maid discovers her lover’s scatological fetish while cleaning the bathrooms.

The Hos of Kilimanjaro: This collection of short stories details the adventures of a group of loose women, from the bored socialite on safari with ‘interesting’ people to the young woman who was a man’s first lover and “did first what no one ever did better”.

Think you can do better? Tell me in the comments. Or, better yet, write it. And then submit**** it to the same publishers that did Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Clearly there’s a market here. We just need to tap it.

*Don’t judge her. She’s a librarian, so technically she was reading it for work. Or so she tells me.
**Seriously, there’s a shitload. Don’t mistake me: I like erotica. Hell, I did my master’s thesis on it. But I like well-written erotica, and this ain’t it.
***Man the harpoons. If you know what I mean.
****I just cannot get my mind out of the gutter now.

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9 thoughts on “Rewriting Classics, or Why I Will Be Murdered By Herman Melville’s Ghost

  1. Moaning becomes Electra. Pitcher in the Rye. A Handmaid’s flail. A Tale of Two Titties.

    Some you don’t even need to change the title of. As You Like It and Hard Times, for instance.

  2. On the topic of erotica, Tomasz passed on some actual, GOOD smut to me in TO. The only story I’ve read so far was ‘The Calyx of Isis’ from the ‘Macho Sluts’ collection. It’s lesbian leather BDSM so not sure if it would be your particular cup of tea or not. It keep switching POVS, which bugged me but, on the whole, it’s pretty damn good. Or maybe I’m just more willing to overlook it’s grammatical and structural failings because it’s HOT AS HELL.
    Either way, huzzah for good smut.

      • I still wish I could have returned the favor of stunning book recommendation. And I am DEVOURING The Wise Man’s Fear. I spent a good chunk of yesterday pretty fucking immersed in it. Just finished the bit where they pull the fire mission on Ambrose’s room. Devi is fucking FIERCE. I can’t remember the last time I was so emotionally invested in characters not our own.

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