Modern TakesSo, I was just wondering what everyone thought about modern takes on the novel. I know alot of different versions have been written, by alot of different people, but really, could...

Modern Takes

So, I was just wondering what everyone thought about modern takes on the novel. I know alot of different versions have been written, by alot of different people, but really, could anything be better than the original? I think not.

I put an example blog below, of a girl who does a modern Elizabeth Bennet journal

So, what do you guys think?

Expert Answers
accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Completely agree with my learned colleagues above. There are so many sequels, prequels and modernised takes on various novels and, to be frank, on the whole the quality is very poor and is at best a pale imitation of the original, bearing only vague echoes or remnants of the glory of the original text. As the famous saying goes: "If it áint broke, don´t fix it" and this is something I think we all need to bear in mind when we thin about updating such texts. Having said this though, I do think there are some examples where elements have been adopted for humour or parody. The classic example would be Bridget Jones´ Diary, which in my opinion successfully copies the plot of Pride and Prejudice for comic effect, offering an interesting interpretation on the plight of single women in todays´society.

Susan Hurn eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are supposedly 10 basic stories in all of literature, and a literary work is the author's version of one or more of them integrated into new settings and experienced by new characters. When a classic is updated, it seems to me, the story is preserved, but that's not such an important plus, since the basic story elements can be found elsewhere. What is lost is of much greater significance: the development of unique characters and conflicts in the specific settings that allow/require them to be and to become who they are. Imagine the Rhett-Scarlett-Ashley triangle played out in Detroit, 2009! (No offense, Detroit. Any city will serve here.) In terms of language, updating Shakespeare's soliloquies is to language as finger painting is to art.

amy-lepore eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Nothing beats the original work, but I am not opposed to modern takes.  It is conceited and short-sighted not to recognize that times are changing and students today learn differently using different tools than students in the past.  WIth modern takes, the stories are still getting out there in various formats.  Perhaps this will make studying the original classics easier? 

M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I agree with amy-lepore in that students deserve to bring the classics to the present. However, I am an antiquarian- that's just me- In fact, I think I was born in the wrong time in history :)

I want to see the dresses, and be "taken there"- Just as long as the kids do learn about that time in history and are able to establish comparisons.

epollock | Student

With modern takes, the original language is obscured and when it comes to reading the originals, most complain that they can't understand it. But if exposed to it from the very beginning, that will be far more rewarding than to a watch a modern version of a Shakespeare play in an office where simply the character names are the same.

I also think by modernizing the classics, you give excuses for students not to read them. I don't think many students will read a classic after they watch the movie version of it; they have already experienced it.

epollock | Student

Nothing is better than the original.  How many updates and interpretations of Shakespeare are there? While some can be funny or imaginative, it is no doubt not the same.  I generally find parodies in college application essays, which no doubt have creativity in their interpretations, but lack a certain amount of inspirational original thought.

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Pride and Prejudice

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