Sunday, February 22, 2009

To mash or not to mash

Last week, GalleyCat posted a thought-provoking article (for me, at least) about literary mash-ups. You've likely heard of music mash-ups, combos of songs that, blended together, are sometimes interesting, sometimes just a mess. (If you’d like, you can even make your own). I’ll be interested to see which this will be: Quirk Books, a small Philadelphia press, seems to have gained a viral following online, culminating in requests at Comic-Con that led to an advanced publication date of April 1. Check out the video for the full scoop.
Mashups are a jump beyond fan fiction. I haven’t read any fan fiction, I admit. I will say that, as an author, I would not be in favor of someone else writing stories for my characters. Imitation is not the sincerest form of flattery. Buying that author’s work is. As to quality, I suppose it will be as with any story – only as good as the writer.
The movie to be produced by Rocket Pictures, Elton John’s production company, seems a bit too close for comfort to Quirk Books’ notion. Hope it’s not a blatant rip-off. Then Sir Elton would be in Jane Austen’s class – ripe for ripping apart.


Gayle Carline said...

I have, for quite awhile, done unintentional mashes of songs, mostly because I can't remember the rest of one song but it reminds me of another. My worst is combining "Swinging on a Star" (Bing Crosby in GOING MY WAY) with "Hello, I Love You" (The Doors). My version goes:

"Would you like to swing on a star?
Carry moonbeams home in a jar?
And be better off than you are?
Or would you rather be a pig?

A pig is an animal with dirt on his face,
His manners are a horrible disgrace.
...(modify tune slightly here)
Her arms are wicked and her legs are long,
When she moves my brain screams out this song,

I may need professional help.

Gayle Carline (aka GeeCarl)

Cate Masters said...

That's very inventive! It actually goes together well. And now I'll have that repeating in my head.