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Literary remixes

As I mentioned earlier, I am participating in Mediabistro/ Galleycat's latest literary remix project. Over the weekend I wrote the first draft of my contribution to the remix of Varney the Vampire. My assigned passage (the original of which was chock full of comically bad dialogue and melodrama) is now reimagined as a scene from a 1990s cult-favorite TV show. I had a lot of fun writing this piece, but that's all I'll say about it for now. Publication of the complete mix should be sometime in November.

The last remix project I worked on was the Horatio Alger novel Joe's Luck; I remixed my passage as a Sherlock Holmes story, which I have reproduced below.
"I caught dat boy standing outside," pointing to Joe.
     "Ah, young blackguard, now I've caught you! I've been eyeing you for weeks!"
     "Joe" found himself collared, wondering why he was thought to be young and worrying whether his true identity—Dr. John Watson—would be revealed.
     "Weeks? But I've only been here for two days," he objected.
     "Take him to jail!" exclaimed the German, who called himself Morgenthaler but whom Watson knew in fact to be the evil Moriarity.
     Inspector Lestrade began to apprehend Watson when a commanding voice arose.
     "Release that boy!" urged the sandy-haired man.
     Watson barely suppressed a smile as he recognized his disguised old friend, Sherlock Holmes.
     "If you interfere, I'll arrest you too."
     "Release that boy!" Holmes repeated, "and arrest the German for assault."
     Watson felt quite relieved, believing Holmes had at last neutralized his greatest nemesis.
     "Who are you?" Lestrade demanded.
     "My name is Dupin, one of the new commissioners." Watson marveled at the wit of the alias. "Your superior."
     "I beg your pardon, sir," Lestrade fawned. "I didn't know who you were."
     "Nor do you know your duty, Inspector..."
     "Lestrade, sir."
     "Frankly, Lestrade, doing inspectors' work for them has me at wit's end. Oh, very well then—you have made a false arrest. The German is your man."
     "So shall I arrest him, sir?" Lestrade asked.
     Moriarty trembled in Lestrade's grip, anxious for his fate.
     "No, you may release him. His conduct may be excused, given the breaking of his window."
     Watson tensed again, anticipating Moriarty's escape from Holmes' unknowing grasp. He wondered if Holmes, in not recognizing Moriarty despite his renowned powers of observation, had finally become debilitated by his morphine habit.
     "I will be relieved," Holmes sighed, "to escape next week on my tour of the Reichenbach Falls."
     Watson saw Moriarty arouse upon hearing Holmes' destination, but could not reveal Moriarty to Holmes nor the looming danger lest he reveal Holmes as well.
     "Incompetent inspectors simply exhaust me. Most should be demoted to mere officers. And as for you..."
     Watson remained silent, sensing imminent doom.
     "As for you, officer, unless you are more careful in the future, you will not long remain a member of the force."
For non-Sherlockians, Reichenbach Falls was the site of the fateful fight (in "The Final Problem") between Holmes and his arch-nemesis Moriarty, which concluded with the two of them falling off the cliff and plummeting to their presumed deaths. Reportedly, Arthur Conan Doyle had grown tired of writing Holmes stories (despite their enormous popularity) and killed off the legendary detective so the writer could move on to other subjects. But the public outcry was so great that Doyle finally brought Holmes back (with a very dubious explanation of how Holmes had survived his fall from the cliff) and went on to write another 23 Holmes stories, including what is generally considered to be the greatest Holmes story, "The Hound of the Baskervilles."

October 15, 2012 in Fiction | Permalink

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