Would E.M. Forster would have been able to connect if he had used Facebook? Would Gatsby be as great if he had just cut his hair and changed his profile name? Would Google Earth have spotted the Diamond as Big as the Ritz? Could Skype have saved the career of Thomas Cromwell? The answers are all in 66 Plots Updated.
66 Plots Updated looks at the effect which new technology might have had on the literature of the great tradition, and asks if these gadgets could have made a difference to the lives of famous fictional characters.
Typically, the issue of whether new technologies have made us happier is approached with surveys, most of which seem to be sponsored by someone with a vested interest. To answer the question “Does Facebook increase or decrease isolation?”, for example, researchers asked a panel of 1200 users a number of questions about their feelings of loneliness and isolation. Their conclusion:“We discovered that the more people use social networks, the better they feel.” But as these researchers were paid by Facebook, what else did could they be expected to report?
Part 1 of 66 Famous Plots Updated with Modern Technology looks at the happiness of individuals, by looking at the plots of some of the greatest works of literature of all time, and wondering what would have happened had mobile phones, messaging and social networks existed at the time they were written.
And behind the humour there is a serious point. Many romances must have been saved by a well timed text message. The ability to communicate a small fact, a word of thanks, or of apology or regret, instantly, across oceans, with an extraordinary degree of accuracy must have changed more lives than we can ever know.
The plots updated in Part 1 include
Jane Fairfax and Frank Churchill from Emma,
Jean de Florette,
Manon des Sources,
Romeo and Juliet,
Anthony and Cleopatra,
West Side Story,
Sherlock Holmes, The Master Blackmailer
Somerset Maugham's The Letter,
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead,
Sherlock Holmes, A Case of Identity
The Umbrellas of Cherbourg,
Theseus and the Minotaur
Death Comes for the Archbishop
Pride and Prejudice,
The Great Gatsby,
The Diamond as big as the Ritz,
The Rocky Horrow Picture Show,
The Duchess of Malfi
101 Geotagged Dalmations,
Notes from Overground,
Howard's End - with email discovery,
Heart of Darkness,
A Passage to India,
The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne,
More details of the book, and the promotional schedule under which both this part and Part 2 are periodically given away free, are at www.66plots.com