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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Sexxxing Up the Classics (and a Contest!)

Posted by Alison Hallett on Wed, Jul 18, 2012 at 4:59 PM

The Guardian and others report that, inspired by the recent success of the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy, "erotic publisher" Total-E-Bound will launch a line of "erotic rewrites of classic titles including Pride and Prejudice, Northanger Abbey, Jane Eyre and A Study in Scarlet."

"There is no doubting the fact that the classics remain an inspiration to writers, even today, with many complex and thought-provoking storylines. But if we are honest to ourselves, haven't we heard the same reserved tale told time and time again?" says the publisher. "We'll show you the scenes that you always wanted to see but were never allowed ... The old fashioned pleasantries and timidity have all been stripped away, quite literally. You didn't really think that these much loved characters only held hands and pecked cheeks did you?"

So in Northanger Abbey, Catherine is introduced to "a whole new world of eroticism ... where sex knows no boundaries" by Henry. In A Study in Scarlet, Watson falls in love with Holmes and finds himself "having his sexual needs attended to in a way he had only previously dreamed about". And in Jane Eyre – which is also being subjected to an erotic rewrite by debut novelist Eve Sinclair as Jane Eyre Laid Bare – nothing is left to the imagination, as the timid governess is told in no uncertain terms: "My penis is hard, Jane. That is what kissing you does to me. My body is filled with desire."

These "Clandestine Classics" are available for order on the site, where you can also snag copies of such contemporary classics as Musical Beds, Hyperpersonal Hypersexual, and Long Hard Ride.

I have been totally uninterested in both the popularity of and backlash against 50 Shades of Grey—which occupied the top three bestseller spots at Powell's last time I was there, Portland, so stow some of that smugness about how smart and literary we all are. But I find this idea very hilarious, now that we've all accepted that slash fic in a fancy cover is worth paying for.

I assume you guys have some punning to do, so... you know. Comments. Best sexed-up literary title & synopsis by 4 pm tomorrow wins my copy of No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comics, an absolutely great anthology from Fantagraphics. (I know, it's basically unrelated to the topic at hand, but it's the coolest thing on my bookshelf. Really, really good anthology.) Small print: If you win, you gotta come pick the book up at our office during business hours or arrange some other convenient-for-me solution.

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