Thursday, July 26, 2012

50 Shades Crazier: Classic Literature Goes 'Explosive'

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you already know that I’m no fan of the Fifty Shades series. I won't go into great detail repeating the exact reasons why, except to briefly say that the series has what I consider to be a sickeningly creepy ending, and also because in my eyes, the books exemplify female abuse and naivety rather than actual sexual empowerment.

So, although I've sworn off reading most of the ongoing news coverage devoted to that provocative collection, I do want to share the latest gem I came across last week – the announcement that a so-called adult fiction publisher will now be infusing classics like Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice and Sherlock Holmes with “explosive sex scenes.”

Um, say what?! Seriously, thanks to the likes of 50 Shades, are the multitudes of hot historical and contemporary romances currently on the market now considered to be too bland, leaving readers hungering for nothing less than Wuthering Heights bondage scenes and sexual encounters between Sherlock and Watson (yes, really, that's the plan)? 

Image Source: Oh No They Didn't!
While I'm definitely not one to turn up my nose at a juicy romance, I also believe that classic stories like those mentioned above are already amazing in their own right, in part because of the non-sexual ways in which they capture human emotion. Yes, they were written during times when “explosive sex” wasn’t as commonly infused into literature, meaning that if they were being written today, the authors may have chosen to, in some cases, be more explicit. Even so, does that aspect alone give modern writers a compelling reason to go back and "enhance" them for an audience that is potentially too focused on the sexual aspects to appreciate them for the eloquent and entertaining works they already are?

In any event, thank goodness for cuddly kitty therapy to help restore my sanity at times like these! 

What do you think? Is this a crazy move, or would you add an "erotic classic" to your reading list? 


  1. I feel like if it ain't broke don't fix it. There is a reason these books are classic and should be left alone.

  2. um wow.... you cannot destroy classics!!!!!!

  3. Seriously? This is so dumb! Personally, I would be pissed if I was the original author and they were changing my stories to include lewd acts.

    Write a brand new book with sex scenes, fine, whatever. But don't ruin the classics!

  4. Wow, this is just ridiculous, and a sad testament to the types of books that people want to actually pick up and read these days. I have no problem with new "literature" that I can avoid, but please leave the classics alone!

  5. i agree, the books are amazing on their own. why do they need changing.

  6. I totally agree with Kim's comment. Please leave the classics alone the way they were written by their original author. I don't really read the erotic novels...and have never read a harlequin novel

  7. my hope is that it would encourage reading of the original texts....wishful thinking?

  8. I think I died a little bit inside.
    Twitter: @GlamKitten88

  9. Ugh this is so depressing. Is this seriously happening?! I just finished the first book in the 50 shades of grey series. Not sure if i'll read the other two - but I agree with you on many of your points about it.

    P.S. that is such a cute kitten pic!!

  10. I just finished the first 50 Shades book. The writing is awful, but the story is entertaining. I will reserve my total judgement until I finish the other two books.

    I did read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. I thought it was a fun reworking of the original novel.

    With that being said, I don't know how I feel about adding sex to classic books. I do feel they they are perfect as they are, but maybe it will attract a new set of readers who wouldn't have picked up the books otherwise?


  11. Well said Kim! ' Jane Eyre' will always be 'Jane Eyre' - write another book!

    Chic 'n Cheap Living

  12. I'm no prude, but I really think that there's a lot of eroticism in classics already, and people seem to miss a lot because they don't read between the lines or just don't pay attention close enough :)
    ♥ laura
    the blog of worldly delights
    the shop of worldly delights

  13. This reminds me *VERY* slightly of the argument for/against removing derrogatory terms from the classics; I just don't agree with tampering with the original.


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