Ophelia Joined the Group… – Sarah Schmelling

12 Jan

Title: Ophelia Joined the Group Maidens Who Don’t Float: Classic Lit Signs on to Facebook 

Author: Sarah Schmelling

Publisher: Plume 2009

Genre: Nonfiction; Humor

Pages: 273

Rating: 5 / 5 stars

Reading Challenges: Support Your Local Library: A to Z Authors: S

From William Shakespeare’s introduction:

The following will not be tolerated here: Slurs, libel, dullness, status updates that inclde the phrase ‘[Your name here] hates Mondays’ or ‘Thank God it’s Friday.’ emoticons used in an effort to mask one’s lack of vocabulary, use of exclamation points that give us the impression you’ve OD’d on cocaine and Pixy Stix, and abuse of texting acronyms.  Unless you are a six-month-old infant or a little girl in a tickle fight, you are not really rolling on the floor laughing. If you are, you need to get up, go outside, and speak to another human being because there’s something wron with your sense of humor.

So what exactly happens when litrary characters and authors join Facebook?  The answer… hilarity!  I loved, loved, loved this book.  It’s written in the style of Facebook, complete with status updates, comments, pokes, social games, stupid quizzes, profiles, and ads.  Schmelling really knows what she’s taking about here.  Each character/author has it’s own personality exactly how I imagine them if they lived in the 21st century.

My favorite, of course, was the section on Jane Austen, specifically the section on Pride and Prejudice.  The best exchange in the whole book (and I can completely picture this, by the way):

Mr. Collins and Charlotte Lucas are now married.

Elizabeth: What the?

Mr. Darcy: Hmmm, maybe I should marry you.

Elizabeth threw a sheep at Mr. Darcy.

Alice’s confusion over her place in the Wonderland network read just like how I imagined her to be…

Alice is so sorry. She’s new here and has been out o sorts sicne falling down the rabiit hole.

Morpheus: We’re in the Matrix now. Take this pill, and I’ll show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.

Hunter S. Thompson: I’ve been there. Madness in any directon. Maybe it meant something. Maybe not.

Alice: No, I mean a real rabbit hole. Like a bunny? Oh my.

How about this little exchange between Mina and Lucy on the Dracula news feed:

Lucy wrote on Mina’s Wall.

“Dear Mina, why are men so noble and perfect when women are so despicable and worthles?”

Mina wrote on Lucy’s Wall.

“I don’t know, sweet Lucy! What kind of women are we?”

Lucy wrote on Mina’s Wall.

“One-dimensional virginal Victorian women, I think!”

The quizzes were amazingly predictable, just like Facebook.  My favorites:

  • Which Circle of Hell are You In? by The Inferno
  • If You were a Jane Austen Character, Who Would You Be? (complete with Jane Austen’s criticsm and annoyance at everyone getting Elizabeth Bennett)
  • Which Dystopia Are You In: 1984, Brave New World, or Social Media?  (I think I’m stuck in Social Media, although it doesn’t look any better than the other two)
  • Are You a REAL MAN? (Ernest Hemingway only scored a 40% putting him with Ashley Wilkes, Ishmael, Jonathan Swift, and Ron Weasley; he wasn’t too happy about it)

For any and all literature buffs or anyone who can actually picture all these old stories.  A true must read!

As an added bit of fish-out-of-water fun, check out one of my favorite movies Lost in Austen or great books Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict and Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler.

1 Comment

Posted by on January 12, 2011 in Book Reviews


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One response to “Ophelia Joined the Group… – Sarah Schmelling

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