“The Selfie of Dorian Gray” and Other Classics Turned Modern

dorian gray

Today was a boring day. So boring in fact that I spent most of it thinking about some of the literary classics that I had learned about while pursing a degree in English Literature. The authors of these masterpieces were better writers than I could ever hope to be. But would they find any success if they were writing their novels in 2013? 

Let’s just  pretend some of the best literary writers of all time took a trip in the Delorean just before writing their most famous works and had to write them right now. In such an event, I’d like to think I would be there to help said writers adjust to the times. 

Here are a few examples I’d be prepared to offer up:

The Selfie Of Dorian Gray:

By Oscar Wilde

Dorian snaps a great pic of himself in front of his mirror. He never looks this good when other people take pictures of him. Obviously he makes it his profile picture. He hopes that he can look this good forever and wishes that the selfie will age instead of him. His wish comes true and his profile picture looks worse and worse every year.

A Tweet of Two Cities:

By Charles Dickens

A socially conscious twenty-something tweets  about the class divide in Western civilizations. But unlike most similar tweets, instead of eye rolls it gets retweets. The aristocrats and the lower class both feel strongly about the point made in the tweet. Somehow both sides agree. Unfortunately, no one is willing to do anything more than retweet so the problem remains.

To Kill An Angry Bird

By Harper Lee

Atticus Finch is trying to teach his kids that racism is never the answer. Unfortunately, they won’t stop playing “Angry Birds.” So he hires their neighbor, Boo Radley, to babysit them and asks him to break their iPads while they are sleeping. The next day Atticus has them watch Crash and The Blind Side and assumes that it is now impossible for them to be racist.

Moby TwitPic

By Herman Melville

Ishmael goes to San Diego for a whale watching trip. He signs up for a tour on a ship with a guy named Captain Ahab who claims to have seen the world’s biggest whale, which he calls Moby. What Ishmael thought would be a relaxing trip through nature turns out to be a quest for Moby. Ahab wants to get a picture of the giant whale so that he can tweet it on the tour’s official twitter account in hopes of getting more customers.

Paradise ReRoute

By John Milton

Adam is trying to make it to church, but gets lost on the way. He tries to use Google Maps, but it keeps telling him to turn the wrong way down a one-way street. At one point, while rerouting, he almost runs head-on into another car. He then just gives up and decides to watch football instead. God’s not cool with this.

Tinder in the Rye

By J.D. Salinger

Holden Caulfield is a teenage rebel stuck at boarding school. One day he matches with a girl on Tinder who is 100 miles away. He travels by train to find her, mostly because he’s bored. He meets a lot of dark, unusual people. He also complains and curses a lot. Then he finds the girl only to discover  she accidentally swiped right when she saw his picture.

Gulliver’s Southwest Miles

By Jonathan Swift

Gulliver loves traveling and always uses the cheapest airline he can find. As a result, he racks up a ton of Southwest miles. Plenty of shenanigans ensue like the time he forgets to register for Early Bird Check-In and has to sit between two fat people or the time they told him his bag was too big for carry-on.

Vines and Prejudice

By Jane Austin

Elizabeth is in high school and is one of five children in a very old-fashioned family. Her parents want her to have good manners so that she can meet a respectable man who will love her for her plain and honorable ways. However, she keeps posting Vines of herself doing beer bongs and drunkenly singing “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” on karaoke.

The Organic Grapes of Wrath

By John Steinbeck

The Joads own a Whole Foods in Oklahoma, but they realize that the state is not all that interested in  zucchini omelets and salmon burgers. So they head west to California where they’ve heard that organic food stores are more popular than anywhere else in the world. Unfortunately, they learn that Trader Joe’s has cornered the entire market of California and all the other store owners viciously attack and discriminate against the Joads.


I think it’s safe to say these novels would be top sellers faster than you can say “Where’s my Kindle?”

Jonny Auping

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