In the vein of Hamlet in Facebook, here is Austenbook, a version of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice in Facebook News Feed format.

Like Hamlet in Facebook, Austenbook is a hypothetical adaptation of literature for social media; it adds the look and feel of a newsfeed, but the latter’s writing isn’t as snappy as the former. Worse, the addition of the icons and typography makes me want to click on the characters and events, something that isn’t possible in this version.

When Ian McCarthy and I created our In the Twitterification of the central chapter of Ulysses, we did so partly—if not mostly—because the time-synchronized microblogging format seemed a very apt platform for the very complex intersections of the novel’s characters. These Facebook-like depictions of literature are cute gags, but they don’t really amount to adaptation quite yet, save perhaps as Cliffs Notes-like distillations of a work’s key plot points in a more familiar format.

My friends at Writer Response Theory have created a more complete record of literature on social software.

published December 21, 2008