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Erotic classics
July 18, 2012 7:40 PM   Subscribe

"Explosive sex with Mr Rochester," anyone? A publisher decides to add more sex to Jane Eyre and other classics.
posted by anothermug (83 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
This is another positive result of copyright expiration. Didn't I read somewhere that "Mickey Mouse Porn" is one of the reasons they strenuously oppose Mickey Mouse falling out of copyright?
posted by muddgirl at 7:44 PM on July 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


Disney, I mean.
posted by muddgirl at 7:45 PM on July 18, 2012


*headdesk* *headdesk* *headdesk*

*Checks short-term memory. Article is still there*

*headdeskheaddeskheaddeskheaddeskheaddeskheaddeskheaddeskheaddeskheaddeskheaddeskheaddeskheaddeskheaddeskheaddesk*
posted by EvaDestruction at 7:47 PM on July 18, 2012 [19 favorites]


I am painfully split between two equally powerful reactions:

"See, this is exactly what's so cool about the public domain and being able to remix our culture and come up with new things out of old pieces."

and

"Oh for god's sake."
posted by Tomorrowful at 7:48 PM on July 18, 2012 [14 favorites]


Disney-porn- It's really stopped it from happening (nsfw-ish)
posted by edgeways at 7:48 PM on July 18, 2012


Yes, I do oppose the fact that all non-erotic versions of these books will be destroyed forever.
posted by muddgirl at 7:49 PM on July 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Um, isn't this a pretty large percentage of what fanfiction is for? And...isn't that already available on the internet, in large quantities, free of charge?
posted by town of cats at 7:51 PM on July 18, 2012 [9 favorites]


Pride and Prejudice (well, the pre-1923 versions) are also free and legal on the internet, and yet publishers still publish it. Some people still prefer paperbacks.

(But yes, this is a genre of fanfiction.)
posted by muddgirl at 7:59 PM on July 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother. Big Brother's eyes widened in recognition and his calloused hands moved quickly at the buttons on Winston Smith's trousers...
posted by R. Schlock at 8:03 PM on July 18, 2012 [60 favorites]


I'm of two minds about all of this. On one hand yeah, yeeech. But, you know stories routinely get whacked and revised and, well experience points to good stories eventually being resilient. Tom Sawyer gets edited all to hell to make it less "offensive", lord knows how many times Shakespeare has been mangled, and frankly it is ironic how hard Disney fights to keep control over it's creations seeing how they tend to mangle any old story they get their hands on.

Good stories last, and just as Pride and Prejudice and Zombies isn't really taken seriously and likely will be a fading memory in 5 years, I've a feeling a sexified Jane Eyre won't really stand the test of time. The real problem will be, will people still read Jane Eyre 50 years from now, not the explicit content randomly inserted versions being mucked about with now.
posted by edgeways at 8:04 PM on July 18, 2012


I am totally the target audience for these books.
posted by not that girl at 8:06 PM on July 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


I call dibs on the eroticization of Charlotte Perkins Gilman's The Yellow Wallpaper. I think it's going to have to be tentacle porn.
posted by brina at 8:07 PM on July 18, 2012 [23 favorites]


I don't recall people being this worked up when it was zombies.
posted by Naberius at 8:09 PM on July 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


This could be a bright spot in the lives of AP English exam graders everywhere.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 8:09 PM on July 18, 2012 [14 favorites]


Speaking of tentacle porn, I call HP Lovecraft and non-Euclidean erogenous zones.
posted by Bookhouse at 8:10 PM on July 18, 2012 [6 favorites]


and Arthur Conan Doyle's stories featuring Sherlock Holmes.

I understand that Dr. Watson is already something of a ladies' man, but surely they'll have to do a wholesale "re-imagining" of Holmes' character to the point of being barely recognizable if he's going to be the stud? Though I suppose Hollywood etc. has already done that kind of transformation albeit not for erotica purposes
posted by Bwithh at 8:13 PM on July 18, 2012


Speaking of tentacle porn, I call HP Lovecraft and non-Euclidean erogenous zones.
posted by Bookhouse at 8:10 PM on July 18 [+] [!]

it's been done

posted by Bwithh at 8:14 PM on July 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


The announcement comes following the phenomenal success of EL James's "mummy porn" title Fifty Shades Of Grey, which is said to be the fastest-selling book of the year.

I can believe that -- I saw the various volumes of 50 Shades of Grey for sale in the supermarket checkout line the other day, next to candy and celebrity magazines. I doubt these books will make the checkout line, but I'm all for reworking and reimagining old stories, both good and bad.
posted by Forktine at 8:14 PM on July 18, 2012


frankly it is ironic how hard Disney fights to keep control over it's creations seeing how they tend to mangle any old story they get their hands on

Peter Barnes has a neat chart in his book Capitalism 3.0 showing the number of stories Disney has taken from the public domain (17+) and how many it has given back to the public domain (0). If the price of having a vibrant intellectual commons is opportunists flooding the market with erotic fan fiction, so be it, I say.
posted by Cash4Lead at 8:14 PM on July 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


Frankly, I always assumed anyone as self-absorbed (and prone to bragging about his mistresses) as Mr. Rochester would be a total letdown in bed.

"Reader, I told him to put away the damn gypsy costume."
posted by emjaybee at 8:17 PM on July 18, 2012 [10 favorites]


"It's Thornfield, Jaynee. It's" -- Edward's speech was punctuated by fast gasping for obvious reasons -- " It's burned down. My wife set it ablaze and committed suicide within, and attempted to take my own life as well. Take it. Take it. Tell me you love it."

And she did. She did love it. Sharpening his "chalk" and having her own mysterious occurrences. Looking into the bandages wrapped about his useless and now dessicated eyes; their liniment soaked linens the only break in the burned and suppurating flesh, cracking and splitting anew, little gobbets of pus and blood welling and spreading with each grunting upward jab Rochester's member delivered.

She spasmed involuntarily in a mixture of ecstasy and revulsion as a clot spattered across her inner thigh. Rochester admonished her with a tut-tutting : "Jane, be still; don't struggle so like a wild, frantic bird, that is rending its own plumage in its desperation."

"Yesss", she though.
posted by boo_radley at 8:23 PM on July 18, 2012 [6 favorites]


Aren't they aware that this has already been done to death? Fanfiction has this well covered and I suspect some fanfiction writers do a better job writing erotica than the authors of these books.
posted by angelchrys at 8:25 PM on July 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wow, I guess they missed the part of Jane Eyre where she refuses to be Mr. Rochester's mistress because it's against her morals.

Honestly, I think I'm more bothered by the spin- that this is how the authors would have written the books today, that there's "something missing" from the texts of the original classic staples that have formed the canon of English literature and that this "something" is trite and probably predictable sex scenes. Do they think there was no pornography when Jane Austen was doing her thing? Do they think that torrid penny dreadfuls are a new development? Sex is not new, Victorian porn was very much a thing. Argh.

Anyhow, that said, this is just obnoxious. It will soon pass, and it merely cements my resolve to ensure that I only purchase novels "complete and unabridged in the original text".
posted by windykites at 8:29 PM on July 18, 2012 [7 favorites]


Top Five Classics that could be made into porn flicks:
Whore and Peace
A Tale of Two Titties
Fuckleberry Finn
Canterbury Gets Some Tail
Richard III - The Three-way
posted by twoleftfeet at 8:33 PM on July 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


Disney, I mean.

I would have understood this perfectly correctly, and your clarification itself has now forced me to note how your earlier comment is interpretable, for example, as alluding to the general-conspiratist 'they' being the ones who are keeping Mickey Mouse porn off the shelves.
posted by Anything at 8:34 PM on July 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Thank goodness someone posted about this. I had a long conversation with some other author friends of mine about it today. On the one hand, I think it's great that people want to remix, rethink and explore pieces of classic literature. On the other hand, am I the only person who never read Jane Eyre as strictly romance? Sheesh.
posted by mynameisluka at 8:41 PM on July 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


I understand that Dr. Watson is already something of a ladies' man, but surely they'll have to do a wholesale "re-imagining" of Holmes' character to the point of being barely recognizable if he's going to be the stud?

It's Watson and Holmes we're talking about here - what do ladies have to do with any of it?
posted by Dr Dracator at 8:52 PM on July 18, 2012 [7 favorites]


You have no idea how I've wished Madam Bovary were written in an age when it was okay to publish explicit sex scenes. I mean... could you imagine ... a graphic sex scene written by Flaubert?

(quiver)
posted by Afroblanco at 8:53 PM on July 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


Considering the themes of Madam Bovery I think it would be a throughly routine petty kind of assignation that she builds up to some grand romantic vision in her poor, novel addled brain.

I was going to say" finally, I can add all the hot gay sex scenes into A Portrait Of Dorian Grey" but them I remembered Lost Girls already did that for me.
posted by The Whelk at 8:57 PM on July 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


They got a little scandalous in the BBC 2006 version of Jane Eyre when Jane and Rochester were making out on the bed after the wedding was called off, and he was stroking her throat. That's about as sexy as I want it to get.
posted by book 'em dano at 9:10 PM on July 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Looks like high school book reports are about to get a lot saucier.
posted by Miss T.Horn at 9:23 PM on July 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


*puts on sunglasses*

YEEEEEAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH
posted by suburbanbeatnik at 9:45 PM on July 18, 2012


Where is the Making Money Off Fandom Train and where do I get on? (Or possibly derail it if it's blowing fandom off?) Because they always babble about Do What You Love The Money Will Follow (ha!), but nobody ever mentioned it could involve FANFIC PORN!

This is now the thread where we link to our favorite Jane Eyre smut, right? ...Because I don't have any. Classic smut link-roundup, GO! I hardly even have any palatable Jane Austenverse smut and I want more gimme. So many already-published smutty Pride and Prejudice sequels, so little time!
posted by nicebookrack at 10:21 PM on July 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


This kind of thing isn't new, even to publishers; I read a traditionally published erotic sequel to Pride and Prejudice a few years ago.

And I have to admit I didn't dislike it.
posted by snorkmaiden at 10:22 PM on July 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


snorkmaiden title plz kthnx [/asking for a friend, a friend who is me]
posted by nicebookrack at 10:27 PM on July 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


In a related development - someone is about to release a reworking of Lady Chatterley's Lover, with all the erotic content removed from it.
posted by awfurby at 10:29 PM on July 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


Explosive sex scene? That just sounds dangerous.
posted by maryr at 10:37 PM on July 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Off the top of my head on AO3 > Pride & Prejudice > Sort by Hits > Mature / Explicit = already several I recognize worth re-reading:

A Marital Education (12707 words) by Yahtzee (awesome, seriously)
Rating: Mature
Relationships: Elizabeth Bennett/Fitzwilliam Darcy, Georgiana Darcy/George Wickham, Jane Bennet/Charles Bingley, William Collins/Charlotte Lucas
Summary: Darcy's impotent.

Any Outward Touch (753 words) by Siria
Rating: Explicit
Relationships: Elizabeth Bennet/Fitzwilliam Darcy
Summary: Elizabeth had never been one to pay much heed to giggling gossip, as Lydia had, or to store up old wives' tales in righteous, agitated horror like Mary.

A Gentlewoman's Guide To Domestic Comfort (1255 words) by tofty
Rating: Mature
Relationships: Elizabeth Bennet/Fitzwilliam Darcy
Summary: Elizabeth displays her estate management skills.

And these are not smutty, but they are ADORABLE.

An Ink-Stained Year (18264 words) by sixbeforelunch
Relationships: Caroline Bingley/Colonel Fitzwilliam
Summary: The decidedly un-epic courtship of Caroline Bingley and Colonel Fitzwilliam.

A Long Engagement, or the Improvement of Human Reason, as illustrated in the long and tortuous courtship of Edward Bennet, squire, and Philadelphia, Lady Darcy (50432 words) by hl, Tulina
Relationships: Elizabeth Bennet/Fitzwilliam Darcy
Summary: 'Well,' said Edward, uncomfortable, but knowing he could not avoid making the invitation now, 'I would consider it an honour if Lady Darcy would accept my hand for this dance.' She would surely reject him now, and he could not say he was entirely unhappy about it; he had no desire to dance with her.
She surprised him -- she dropped in a small curtsey, and said, 'Thank you, sir, it would be a pleasure.'

Jane Eyre Has a Posse (3804 words) by Bow
Fandom: Jane Austen's Fight Club, Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte, AUSTEN Jane - Works
Summary: After an initial success, Jane Austen's Fight Club has become tedious and routine. If fight club is to thrive, the ladies will need a serious intervention, Brontë-style. Featuring exciting crossover action! Contains spoilers for Jane Eyre...though if you are worried about being spoiled for Jane Eyre, you might not enjoy this story very much.


Aaand I'm falling asleep, so I'll have to hover obsessive-like over this thread later.
posted by nicebookrack at 10:37 PM on July 18, 2012 [12 favorites]


After an initial success, Jane Austen's Fight Club has become tedious and routine. If fight club is to thrive, the ladies will need a serious intervention, Brontë-style.

Okay FINE you FORCED ME TO READ THIS.
posted by The Whelk at 10:41 PM on July 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


I was set to wax all angsty and such, being a nineteenth-c. lit specialist, but those excerpts are so hilariously bad (and utterly non-erotic) that I can't even bother. In the meantime, I can't see where in the chronology of JE or WH the insta-eroticism would go: Jane spends a lot of time pointedly evading Mr. R's attempts to kiss and/or have sex with her, and Heathcliff & Cathy don't exactly have a lot of adult time or space for bondage. (Also, I take it the publisher is skipping the speculation that H & C are half-siblings. OH HAI JUST PICKED UP RANDOM CHILD IN THE STREET. Uh-huh.)

And I'll refrain from self-linking, but there's plenty of eroticism/explicit sexuality in Victorian literature, not all of it requiring advanced decoding skills. Sheesh.
posted by thomas j wise at 10:41 PM on July 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


and Yeah Jane Eyre is kind of a bad book to do this toward cause all the heat driving the turbines is all the sex they REPEATEDLY REFUSE TO HAVE, like it's a major thing.

You could add sex scenes to Vanity Fair, I mean I love it but it's too long as is and replacing some dialogue scenes with just straight up pornography might help ....carry the reader ot the end, cause it is worth it.
posted by The Whelk at 10:43 PM on July 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


"You are very welcome here," she said softly. "My name is Jane Eyre, though in present company, I shall answer most often to The Bird."

"Fighting names!" exclaimed Marianne in admiration. "We never thought of that!"

"Should you like to know why they call me The Bird?"

"Because of all the bird imagery from your novel?" suggested Emma.

"Because you are little and quick?" asked Elinor.

"Nope. It's because when I fight my opponents, I flip 'em over at the end and send 'em flying. Signature move," she explained.


I died.
posted by The Whelk at 10:49 PM on July 18, 2012 [8 favorites]


Didn't Kathy Acker do this kind of thing in the '80s?
posted by FrauMaschine at 11:17 PM on July 18, 2012


Do they think that torrid penny dreadfuls are a new development? Sex is not new, Victorian porn was very much a thing. Argh.

Wait, wait. They could redo this...with VINTAGE SEX. I'm in.

But seriously. I thought I'd be the target audience for this, but it's always done so over the top. I read the Pride and Prejudice sequel, and it was...boring. Sex was over the top and romanticized in crazy ways.

Also, you could totally do a porn Wuthering Heights, but it'd be absolutely /awful/, only for terrible human beings.
posted by corb at 11:45 PM on July 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


A group of young ladies accustomed to pugilism are desirous of meeting with another like-minded group of young ladies, to expand the usual circle of participants as well as to exchange fighting techniques. They are qualified to engage in the usual branches of a good English fistfight, together with karate, capoeira, and some of the rudimentary forms of jujitsu. Address, J.E., Post-office, Millcote, ---shire.

I want a rematch! Elizabeth Gaskell's Fight Club versus George Elliot's Fight Club?
posted by Alice Russel-Wallace at 12:13 AM on July 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't recall people being this worked up when it was zombies.

Back on the old rec.arts.sf.written, two moderately successfull sf authors amused themselves (and the rest of us) writing a Jane Austen/Terminator mashup called Terminators of Endearment. This was some years before somebody decided to this for reals with zombies and made millions. One wonders about their reactions to this.
posted by MartinWisse at 12:21 AM on July 19, 2012


Oh cmon, I feel abused when classic things are getting mashed up or redone just to cut some easy cash for publishers and those lazy authors, who are not able to write something decent, but always ready to screw the origin.
posted by leevituulola at 12:49 AM on July 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wide Sargasso Sea
posted by homunculus at 1:10 AM on July 19, 2012


Haha I don't mind this for P&P. And Northanger Abbey is silly enough and good-natured enough (like its heroine) to not mind what indignities its put to. But seriously, isn't Jane Eyre sexy enough already? It's pretty much the sexiest book in the world, that's why we love it so much.
posted by low_horrible_immoral at 2:55 AM on July 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm surprised no one has mentioned the oldest Jane Eyre smutfic I can think of-- P.N. Dedeaux's "The Governess's Strange Desires" (1972). This features the...interesting... spectacle of Jane learning explicit S&M at Lowood under the... tutelage (if one might call it that) of Mr. Brocklehurst. I'm not kidding. Apparently Jane/Brocklehurst smut was written decades before Jane/Rochester smut... I'm not entirely sure what to make of that.

I'm not brave enough to read it yet, but in case any MeFite is brave enough to want to read it, it's easy enough to find.

*shudders*
posted by suburbanbeatnik at 3:35 AM on July 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wow... Jane/Brocklehurst AND Wuthering Heights prons are both the kind that would give one PTSD I think.

I also agree that this seems like an odd choice for Jane Eyre. I have a special place in my heart for Jane. The whole point was that she was just a good girl even though everyone thought she was something other than human. Even when it came out critics said she was a terrible person.

Usually high/low culture remixes amuse me and we can all make fun of Liz Bennet until the cows come home but I also feel like Jane is my friend who has had a hard time and I don't want people talking about her this way.
posted by bleep at 4:27 AM on July 19, 2012 [5 favorites]


Oh well, why not have Jane and Helen Burns rubbing each other out nightly? What's that? Totally out of character? Too bad. If someone will pay money for that edition-- well capitalism knows best.

I imagine that millions of words have already been written detailing the love affair between Holmes and Watson, the difference is up til now fanfic was something hidden, kept in the shadows for fear of being mocked. I can't say I approve of an actual publisher thrusting it out into the light, but I am not the audience. If zombies, why not cocks?

So will we be seeing Don Quixote and Sancho Panza diving into the bushes for a quickie? Little Women pairing off with Big Men? Oliver giving up picking pockets to become a bum boy?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:12 AM on July 19, 2012


In a related development - someone is about to release a reworking of Lady Chatterley's Lover, with all the erotic content removed from it.

Will they rename it, then? Lady Chatterley's Other? Lady Chatterley's Oven? Lady Chatterley's Brother? (All three, of course, could be actually more smutty, for the determined.)
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:27 AM on July 19, 2012


"Mommy? What's Spot doing to that Mailman? I want to see him run again."
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:31 AM on July 19, 2012 [6 favorites]


Will they rename it, then?

Lady Chatterley's Liker
posted by pracowity at 5:33 AM on July 19, 2012 [6 favorites]


Oliver giving up picking pockets to become a bum boy?

Stephen Fry did a parody of that a good twenty years ago in The Liar

Link is to someone's MySpace copying out the main passage of Fry's fictional fake Dickens novel Peter Flowerbuck.
posted by howfar at 5:50 AM on July 19, 2012


I can't say I approve of an actual publisher thrusting it out into the light

I see what you did there, and I am now updating my edition of Scoop for when the copyright lapses.
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:00 AM on July 19, 2012


No good will come of this trend unless Kate Beaton does the illustrations for every single one.





Meanwhile in a 20 mile radius of this event

bodices ripping

men turning gay

it was amazing

the end
posted by subbes at 6:01 AM on July 19, 2012 [6 favorites]


....There are already classics that have erotic scenes already written in by the original authors. Why not promote those more often? One such work was well received recently.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:29 AM on July 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Will they rename it, then? Lady Chatterley's Other? Lady Chatterley's Oven? Lady Chatterley's Brother?

I see them going another direction: Lady Chatterley's Labrador.

Around the World in 80 Positions has possibilities.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:35 AM on July 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Why not promote those more often?

Publishing houses don't tend to get free publicity for releasing books that we already know are a bit smutty.
posted by muddgirl at 7:00 AM on July 19, 2012


I don't mind their adding erotic scenes to classic works, but I do mind that it's so poorly written. Erotic scenes, successfully incorporated, shouldn't be jarring to the reader.
posted by notashroom at 7:00 AM on July 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think what is so ridiculous is that there was plenty of erotica, smut and straight-up porn written and published in the nineteenth century. I know why they're dong this, but wouldn't a more imaginative publisher scour the annals of Victorian filth to bring us something more interesting and less ridiculous? Surely that would be a better and cheaper way to capture the attention of the historically minded one-handed reader.
posted by howfar at 7:10 AM on July 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Publishing houses don't tend to get free publicity for releasing books that we already know are a bit smutty.

To slightly restate myself: They feed on the rage of classicists!
posted by muddgirl at 7:23 AM on July 19, 2012


But Pride and Promiscuity was published years ago.
posted by rewil at 7:24 AM on July 19, 2012


Will they rename it, then? Lady Chatterley's Other? Lady Chatterley's Oven? Lady Chatterley's Brother? (All three, of course, could be actually more smutty, for the determined.)
posted by GenjiandProust at 8:27 AM on July 19 [+] [!]


Oddly, I read the first of those as Lady Chatterley's Otter, which could also work. For those who like that sort of thing.
posted by McCoy Pauley at 7:29 AM on July 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


The One-Handed Reader would be a good name for an omnibus. On the other hand, doesn't a one-handed book need to be something you could comfortably hold in one hand?
posted by pracowity at 7:31 AM on July 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


I realize that La Giaconda and Beethoven's Fifth have been altered to fit various tastes over the years and people continue to prefer the originals, but will multiple versions dilute the popularity of original novels? If new readers can buy P & P with or without zombies, with or without porn, and with or without space aliens will the originals become less well known and sit on the shelf unloved?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:47 AM on July 19, 2012


I hardly even have any palatable Jane Austenverse smut and I want more gimme.

there's a whole genre of that - the traditional stuff is pretty tame, but the newer stuff has a lot more action.

of course, the basic concept of love and how it works is opposite in Austen and the Regency Romance genre (mutual respect and character compatibility versus love-at-first-sight and inexplicable passion between sometimes highly incompatible people), but most people don't seem to care about that.
posted by jb at 7:57 AM on July 19, 2012


Noel Coward once said that if it were not for the censors, he would have had the couple in Brief Encounter shagging like rabbits. I think I might be paraphrasing here.
posted by mippy at 8:49 AM on July 19, 2012


Didn't I read somewhere that "Mickey Mouse Porn" is one of the reasons they strenuously oppose Mickey Mouse falling out of copyright?

There's a lot of 'erotic' versions of cartoons on the internet - the Simpsons ones were popular when our sixth form got internet. However, I accidentally came across a 30 Rock porn parody. WHAT
posted by mippy at 8:51 AM on July 19, 2012


Noel Coward once said that if it were not for the censors, he would have had the couple in Brief Encounter shagging like rabbits.

If he'd had his way, it would have been two men. (And the porn title would have been Briefs Encountered.)
posted by pracowity at 8:56 AM on July 19, 2012


nicebookrack, pretty sure it was this, but it could also have been Pemberley by Emma Tennant.
posted by snorkmaiden at 9:02 AM on July 19, 2012


I don't mind their adding erotic scenes to classic works, but I do mind that it's so poorly written.

Most erotic scenes are poorly written. Why else would the Bad Sex in Fiction Awards exist?
posted by blucevalo at 9:04 AM on July 19, 2012


I agree; there are a lot more examples of poorly-written erotic scenes than well-written ones. At least sometimes they're funny ("Her head bonked on the door. 'Ouch,' I said. 'Are you all right?'"), but still, for me they often mess up the flow of the story.
posted by notashroom at 9:43 AM on July 19, 2012


Around the World in 80 Positions has possibilities.

I am sure you just mistyped Around the World in 80 Ways.
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:39 AM on July 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


There are a whole bunch of porn versions of literary classics that were published in the sixties and seventies, including a few of the books discussed here (Around the World in 80 Days, The Portrait of Dorian Grey). Stephen Gertz has a great blog entry about them. He misses "updated" versions of Balzac and de Maupassant short stories published in the early sixties and doesn't include more contemporary adaptations like 8001: A Sex Odyssey and the 0008 series.
posted by vathek at 11:23 AM on July 19, 2012


Didn't I read somewhere that "Mickey Mouse Porn" is one of the reasons they strenuously oppose Mickey Mouse falling out of copyright?

You can already make Mickey Mouse porn; that would fall under parody law and companies like Hustler and Wicked now make a vast percentage of the sales from exactly that genre of video. (The 60's Batman porn parody is currently the best-selling porn title ever)
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 11:32 AM on July 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


of course, the basic concept of love and how it works is opposite in Austen and the Regency Romance genre (mutual respect and character compatibility versus love-at-first-sight and inexplicable passion between sometimes highly incompatible people), but most people don't seem to care about that.

Well, I think both kinds exist and have their respected merits.

There are a whole bunch of porn versions of literary classics that were published in the sixties and seventies, including a few of the books discussed here (Around the World in 80 Days, The Portrait of Dorian Grey). Stephen Gertz has a great blog entry about them.


Thank you. I'll be in my bunk.
posted by corb at 11:50 AM on July 19, 2012


No good will come of this trend unless Kate Beaton does the illustrations for every single one.

Meanwhile in a 20 mile radius of this event


Fixed the link for you.
posted by zamboni at 12:49 PM on July 19, 2012


Oh, right- there's more!

Not in the middle of the ball, Mister Darcy.
Sex and Sensibility And Mister Darcy and Sharks in Space Riding Motor Cycles Plus there Is A Time Machine
posted by zamboni at 1:06 PM on July 19, 2012


Speaking of proper published Jane Eyre smut, there's the more recent Reader, I Married Him by Janet Mullany. The synopsis reads:

Two con artists descend on the heroic Miss Jane Eyre, presenting themselves as her cousins Diana and St. John Rivers, and discover the dark secret of Thornfield Hall. Edward Rochester, whom Jane was to marry, is her prisoner and sex slave, but he’s tiring of the game.

Diana frees him and herself, finally able to choose love and the life she wants. St. John, who fears he’s lost his nerve as a con man, becomes Jane’s lover with reenactments of her sadistic Lowood School memories, and love sets him off on a new adventure in pursuit of Jane.


I've always wanted to read this, but again, I've never been brave enough. And... in any case, fanfiction is always free online. And I'm a cheapskate.
posted by suburbanbeatnik at 1:30 PM on July 19, 2012


Well, I think both kinds exist and have their respected merits.

I'm not saying which is more true, if either.

I just find it jarring when I read books or see films supposedly inspired by Austen (like Lost in Austen), as it's clear that Austen herself believed that passion was a very poor basis for a relationship if it did not also accompany mutual compatibility and respect (as she both tells and shows in the Bennett's marriage and in Lydia's marriage in Pride and Prejudice). One could say that is the basic theme of Pride and Prejudice, and Sense and Sensibility -- passion is deceptive and can lead to disaster, and sense should rule.

It's like people picked up the temporal setting of Austen's novels, and then ignored everything else she wrote. She also doesn't write about the bon ton either - her characters are firmly gentry (and many only mere "parish gentry" - just a thin step up from middle class).

I'd actually like to read more Austen-style Regency novels - Carla Kelly is the one modern Regency author I've come across who really does seem to bring an Austen approach to relationships.
posted by jb at 2:16 PM on July 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


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