Hello, Opus friends! My name is Alicia Schubert, and I’m one of the poetry co-editors for Opus. Some of you are familiar, I’m sure, with the relatively recent Youtube trend of modernizing classic works of literature and converting them into video blogs. Popular examples include Pemberley Digital’s adaptations of Pride and Prejudice (The Lizzie Bennet Diaries), Emma (Emma Approved), and Frankenstein (Frankenstein, MD). In addition to modernizing classics, some Youtube personalities have created series such as Classic Alice, which follows college student Alice Rackham as she lives her life according to classic novels after a professor tells her she isn’t emotionally connecting with the characters. One of my favorite literary vlogs is Shipwrecked.’s A Tell Tale Vlog. Each episode alternates between a dejected Poe struggling with writer’s block and the feisty ghost Lenore, the central character in Poe’s 1843 poem of the same name. The episodes are short, typically between one and two minutes long, which makes watching the vlog all in one sitting a great study break!
I’m a big fan of these video adaptations—they’re more accessible to a general audience than the literary works themselves, and they relativize the works’ major themes, enabling a general audience to engage these themes within a contemporary context. In addition, perhaps watching these vlogs will prompt viewers to read or re-read the novels on which the vlogs are based, thereby encouraging literacy and introducing (or re-introducing) the public to the joy of reading. According to statisticbrain.com, 33% of U.S. high school graduates will never read a book after high school, and 42% of college students will never read a book after graduation. These are huge percentages; and, in my book, any form of media that might decrease these numbers is one that should be embraced.
So, check out one or more of these vlogs this weekend when you can’t figure out that math problem or you need some inspiration for a poem. I’ve pasted the links below. As a reminder, you have until tomorrow, the 27th, at 11:59 p.m. to submit your print and art pieces! You can submit a total of 5 written pieces and 5 art pieces, so if you’ve sent in some pieces already, make sure you subtract any new submissions from those totals. Please encourage your friends to submit, too!
Have a wonderful weekend!