If Dead Authors Had Blogged

Poe rantin' and raven on a PC? Orwell worried about spyware? Steinbeck pushing his new web tutorial program, "Of Mice and Manuals?" If our literary greats of the past were around today, would they be online-- and blogging?

Well, today, I thought I'd share just a few of my best guesses:

William Shakespeare
For his day-job, he anonymously writes a high-profile PR blog for an influential celeb politician . His task? To pump up the candidate's idyllic family life, community service, policies and event appearances...

All the while demonizing details of the politician's opponents with salaciously-spun content, YouTube video clips and some sly reenactments which border on slander.

Will's personal blog, on the other hand-- MuchAdo4Nothin.net-- is written under the penname "IronWill". And readers aren't quite sure if this swashbuckling narrator is real, or simply a character of another blogger named Marlowe. Marlowe, it seems, has a strikingly similar avatar, appears on all the same social networks but never at the same time, and works off the same ISP server.

Partial post--

To blog, or not to blog, that is the question;
Whether it's cooler to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous commenting trolls,
Or to write posts against their slanderous lies,
And by opposing, end them. To delete, to sleep;
To sleep, to get keyprints deeply embedded on one's face.
Note to self: stop falling asleep at my desk.

Charles Dickens
He maintains a fiction site called "TheOldeCuriosityBlog" under the username "Boz." He posts part of his serial stories once a week, and has gained a strong regular following-- largely housewives falling into the soap opera fanatic demographic.

In a rare personal post, Boz relays his concerns about the print publication industry:

I would like to thank all of my readers, who supported me during the serial I've now compiled into one unified work, renamed "The Pickwick Posts." I know you've all been emailing, asking for an update on the possible publication of this.

Well, I've shopped it around to a number of print publishers and I am hearing that it doesn't fit into the hot markets right now-- like Self-Help, Inspirational, or Drooled On by Oprah. The rejection letters indicate no one wants to take the risk. So I'm thinking of self-publishing. Anyone have the good word on Lulu?


Charlotte and Emily Bronte
These home-schooled goth girls from Yorkshire, "Char" and "Em," write a joint blog called "Blathering Heights," a mix of dark emo poetry, steam-punk painting, graphic novel reviews, and personal posts on their slow progress in therapy. You can listen to the music that inspires them through their on-blog streaming MP3 playlist. Char's faves are the ethereal Cocteau Twins, Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Dead Can Dance and the Smiths, where Em's taste leans more toward newer punk and thrash-metal influences.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Due to strong search engine traffic, and having a lot of popular blogger friends, "SammyC" has gained a big audience with the psychedelic crowd for the few posts he's written. Unfortunately, he posts very rarely, and almost never finishes anything he starts. His blog will be giving readers a permanent 404 error in under a year.

Partial post-

After a serious night of partying with buds Byron, old Keatsy and the gang, I crawled part of the way home and fell asleep under the shrubbery. That's when I had this seriously weird dream. When I woke up, still groggy, I wanted to write it down, but all I could find within arm's length was a broken crayon and an empty Cadbury wrapper in the gutter. I jotted it down, then passed out again. So this is the most I could read off that wrapper, misspellings included...

In Xanadu did NewtonJahn
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where ELO, the sacred singers sang
Through discos measureless to man
Down to a sunless roller rink.
I'm not sure where the whole Olivia Newton John roller disco theme came in-- I never really even liked that movie. But maybe there's something there. Possibly I'll rework it. But right now, I've got the munchies.


Jane Austen
Jane is a marketing-savvy heiress with a large fan base in the personal diary set, due to her quirky, catty exploits. Her stories are loosely-veiled recaps of her own "Super Sweet 16" party, her hanging with Paris and Nicole Richie, and her social gala photo ops. She spends 50% of her time on Twitter tweeting friends, friends of friends, and friends of friends friends who are actually paparazzi using pseudonyms, talking about parties she's attending, designers she's into and books she's reading. She is already being approached by agents and publishers, some of them not even friends of her daddy.

I'd love to add some more here, but I ran out of time. So any ideas for literary greats who you'd envision blogging today?



The Walrus said...

The sisters Bronte would totally be contributors to Pink Raygun lol

I think W. Somerset Maugham would be writing Queer as Folk fan fic, Orwell would have a conspiracy theory site where he'd rail against Republican excess, and Nietzsche would be trolling evangelical sites writing scathing condemnations of Ted Haggard.

Hmmm, now I kind of want to do some of these. Great post, fantastic start to my day :D

Walter said...

I'd like to see Jonathon Swift's satirical blog. I'm not even going to try to fake a sample of it though, as I don't have the literary chops to imitate him in his blog, "A Modest Blog" by gulliver4.

Walter said...

Also, I love the phrase, "The slings and arrows of outrageous commenting trolls."

Unknown said...

Julian- Some excellent contributions there yourself-- thank you! I love Orwell's conspiracy theory web site in particular.

Unknown said...

Walter-- "A Modest Blog"-- NIIICE!

You know, this is why I adore you folks-- you all know how to get into the spirit of things and play along!

Anonymous said...

Great idea Jenn !
It can only happen to writers.

If I think about my profession, I think engineers would fit in any time - just that they'd use different tools and perhaps design differently.

You have captured Dickens there well - may be one too many periods in the middle of those phrases.

I am a Dickens fan - but I don't get why Will has to be so much more popular.
(Ok that sounds like Blogger envy).

I think Balzac's blog would be an amazing recount of todays society - mixing fiction with facts and countless friends perhaps he never had.
Oh yes, he'd be blogging in the wee hours et en Français.

I think George Bernard Shaw would capture the same but with some comedy - in English but I don't think his blog would be as huge as Balzac's.

Anonymous said...

Actually Shaw would have a loyal following and lots of comments.

Where as Balzac would just write and write - and perhaps wouldn't care about his 0 comment count.

Unknown said...

Jaffer- You seem to have put a lot of thought in to these! :)

And thanks- I'll have to reproof the Dickens area-- I keep catching a lot of typos in this particular post for some reason.

Chaotically Calm said...

I'd love to see Edgar Allen Poe added to this list of bloggers. I think his drunken exploits and marriage to his cousin would be perfect for the masses. In this day and age everyone loves a drunk with a troubled past. He might write under the name EA-Poe with a site called the Tell-Tale Blog or something like that. I'm sure you can come up with something more creative.

Unknown said...

Faith- Heh, I'd wanted to include Poe, and also Lewis Carroll, but I ran out of time before I could work those posts up. I like "The Tell Tale Blog" though. You've gotten farther on the concept that I did, for sure!

I have visions of Poe hitting forums totally sauced and not making a lot of sense, eventually getting banned. :)

Anonymous said...

That was hilarious.

I can see John Steinbeck writing a blog from the POV of Charlie, his poodle, called Pissing Across America

Unknown said...

Sean- You have the honor of being the first person so far to suggest a pet POV blog-- :) I KNEW we were missing an important angle of the blogging genre!

You might just have come up with the first literary crossover for it, too. :)

MoxieMamaKC said...

Brilliant! The most hilarious thing I've read today! You nailed SammyC!

Unknown said...

MoxieMama- Ah, I'm so glad!-- I actually really love the work of SammyC, what little there is of it. It just wouldn't have been the same without him lying in the gutter writing on Cadbury wrappers in crayon. :)

BNS said...

You've outdone yourself, Jenn. These are great.

Also got me to thinking what blogs written by some characters from the classics might be like. How about Madame Bovary doing a tell all blog about what she does to spice up her ever-so-boring bourgeois life?

Anonymous said...

I can only imagine what Hemingway's blog would be like? Drunken debauchery, fist fights, loose women and Cuban conspiracies.

Unknown said...

Bobbie- Thank you! Ah, yes, Madame Bovary-- I think all her back-and-forth decision making would have her readers never know what she'd plan to do next.

FreeTheUnicorns- I bet Hemingway would also have really short, pared-down posts. :)

Da Old Man said...

Hemingway would just post LOLcats on his blog "I Hadz Fish."

Huxley, of course, would be a political satire writer at his blog
"It's Always 1984."

Anonymous said...

Me ? Think much ? Nah ! One of my professors described Balzac as the French Dickens.

So when you mention Dickens, I thought of Balzac. Then I remembered Shaw because he is well known here thanks to the Shaw Festival

Unknown said...

Da Old Man- Hemingway did have about a million six toed cats at his house down in Key West-- they were a bit of a feature. I'm laughing at the image of ol' man's man Ernest coming back from safari and taking photos of his house-cats to post online. :)

Jaffer- Ah... We didn't study Balzac,. Not even in French class, oddly.

Anonymous said...

I never thought of Charlotte Bronte being into The Smiths. It kinda makes sense though.

Unknown said...

Tiggy- I think so-- a little wry satire, a certain amount of self-pity and gloom, and yet also a little upbeat. Based on Wuthering Heights, it's Emily who has the anger issues to work out. :)

Jessie said...

First of all-you are my hero.
second of all,i would love it either roald dahl,or agatha christie posted today
Agatha hristie runs a murder column on the Amerias most wanted subwebsite. Her educated,yet fun desriptions make her popular with both cops and 50 year old men.
She often uses the aid of help,herule poirot,and occasionaly has to call her auntie,the sedate miss marple

Anonymous said...

You forgot that perfect blogger, Samuel Pepys! Of course, he'd never tell you where he hid the cheese...

Qupid said...

MuchAdo4Nothin.net is brilliant, as is Shakespeare's "recent" blogging. How is that I'm the first one to Digg this? It's refreshing to see a vivid imagination in action. Cheers to being ridiculous! I think you'll like my "Learn from Fictional Couples: Santa and Mrs. Claus" post.

Chat Blanc said...

awesome! well thank gawd this crew isn't blogging today, I'd totally give up the bloggy bidness!

Anonymous said...

Clever as always, but what really struck me was that there's someone else on the face of this planet who has actually HEARD of Dead Can Dance! I'm... well, amazed! :p

Unknown said...

Jessie- Excellent choices-- and I LOVE your Agatha Christie concept!

Jay- Heh, yes these diary writers would have had a field day with blogging. Although I guess each year we'd have had online celebrations for the removal of his famous kidney stone. :)

Qupid- I do try to make ridiculous an integral part of daily life-- it goes down better that way. :) I'll have to check out your post.

Chat Blanc- Or maybe you'd be hanging out in some interesting new blogging circles? :)

Tony- Ah, yes-- I confess to those being some artists I actually own myself. I just have to make sure I balance out the Dead Can Dance with some less solemn stuff, or my humor blog might not be very light and cheery. :)

JD at I Do Things said...

Oh, my gawd, you've done it again. I'm in awe.


Ed & Jeanne said...

Well I hated it...that you had a funny clever idea I didn't think of that is... Excellent job!

Anonymous said...

JD- Awww.... :) Thank you, thank you. I'm actually in awe and feeling extremely fortunate to have folks stop by who can get so behind literature-based humor. That's the best.

VE- Hey, thank you muchly for stopping by. Anyway, you have clever ideas all the time-- it's good to let a gal beat you to one occasionally. :)

Unknown said...

These were hilarious... Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm how about Thoreau

Unknown said...

Dizzblnd- HMMM... Well, it would have to be on a laptop. And Walden Pond would have to have some SERIOUSLY wide ranging wireless. :)

Unknown said...

I majored in English Lit and this is the funniest and most clever blog entry I have read in months! BRAVO! The comments aren't too shabby either. :o)

Unknown said...

Betyh- Hey, thank you much-- it's always fun to put the ol' English degree to work. :)

Liggy said...

LOL! Imagine if they Twittered!