Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Vote for Lines of Literature!

 
"Couldn't have said it better myself." As that is often the case with classic literature, it can be amusing to try to say it worse. Last week I challenged my readers to dumb down some classic quotes as a satire on modern language, just for the fun of it.

The Lines of Literature Paraphrase Challenge is now closed for entries. I received 25 quotes in all, which is more than I was expecting and I am very happy. Thank you so much, everyone!
 Now comes a fun part, when you get to read everyone else's; only you won't know who wrote what. That, my dear readers, will not be revealed until the end. 
 I have divided everything up into 8 polls. The polls will be open until a week from today (Wed., March 14, 2012) and then I will post the results and probably one large poll to determine the overall favorite. And I may just make a button or two for prizes. ;)

I would suggest not voting for your own, just because I think it's easier for you and perhaps more fair in general. At least, when I have the option to vote for my own thing, it's far more difficult than if I wasn't supposed to. But I don't forbid it. Especially if you really do like your own the best... hehe.

 Poll One: From Emma by Jane Austen
1.
Original Quote:
"Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition, seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence; and had lived nearly twenty-one years in the world with very little to distress or vex her."
Satire:

"Emma Woodhouse, gorgeous, smart and loaded with cash, with a great house and a happy-go-lucky attitude, had basically everything anybody could want and had gotten through almost 21 years without having any reason for a temper tantrum."

 
2. 

Original Quote:
"Human nature is so well disposed towards those who are in interesting situations, that a young person, who either marries or dies, is sure of being kindly spoken of." 
Satire:
"People like people who are interesting, so people will speak kindly of young people who die or get married." 
 
3.
Original Quote:
"I am very much astonished, Mr. Elton. This to me! you forget yourself—you take me for my friend—any message to Miss Smith I shall be happy to deliver; but no more of this to me, if you please."
Satire:
"Hello, Harriet cannot come to the phone right now. Please leave your name, number, and a brief message and Harriet will be with your shortly." 

{Poll removed--results}

Poll Two: From Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
1.
Original Quote:
“The power of doing any thing with quickness is always much prized by the possessor, and often without any attention to the imperfection of the performance.”
Paraphrase:
“If you can do it fast, you’re proud of it – despite the awful job you’re doing.” 

 2. 
Original Quote:
I have not the pleasure of understanding you.
Paraphrase:

"I ain’t got no idea what you’re going on about."

 
3 & 4

Original Quote:
A lady’s imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony in a moment. 
(3) Paraphrase:
"You say to one girl that another girl is pretty, and instantly she starts planning your wedding."
(4) Paraphrase:
“Ladies have big imaginations – they are sure that if you think a girl is cute, you love her; if you love her, you want to marry her. And all this imagining in only a second!” 

{Poll removed--results}

Poll 3: Charles Dickens quotes

1.
Original Quote:
"And, as Tiny Tim observed, 'God bless us, every one!'"
~A Christmas Carol
Interpretation: 

"So, to quote Tiny Tim, 'Let's all have a great and politically correct day, okay?'"
(Author's note: "Because seriously, if ACC had been published today, that's probably how the book would've ended. :P")

2.
Original Quote:
“Although a skillful flatterer is a most delightful companion if you have him all to yourself, his taste becomes very doubtful when he takes to complimenting other people.”
Interpretation:
“A flatterer’s taste is only good when you have him all to yourself – once he speaks of others, he’s not so great.” 
 
3.
Original Quote:
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity..."
- A Tale of Two Cities
Interpretation:
“It was the most awesome of times, it was the most awful of times, it was the age of cleverness, it was the age of stupidity, it was the time of faith, it was the time of doubt...” 
 
4.
Original Quote:
"The said company being now relieved from further attendance, and the chief Barnacles being rather hurried (for they had it in hand just then to send a mail or two which was in danger of going straight to its destination, beating about the seas like the Flying Dutchman, and to arrange with complexity for the stoppage of a good deal of important business otherwise in peril of being done), went their several ways."
- Little Dorrit 
Interpretation:
"Then the guests could go, and since the important Barnacles were in a rush (because they had to send the mail that was going to its address to somewhere else and stop business that was getting done) they left."

{Poll removed--results}
Poll 4: Henry Tilney's "gentleman or lady" quote

Original Quote:"The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." (Northanger Abbey)
Paraphrases:
1. 
“Anyone who doesn’t love a good book is stupid.“
2. 
“The person, whether a guy or gal, who doesn’t have fun reading a good book, must be amazingly dumb.”
3. 
A guy or girl who does not like reading a novel is dumb.”



{Poll removed--results}

Poll Five: From Mansfield Park and Sense & Sensibility by Jane Austen
1.
Original Quote:
"There certainly are not so many men of large fortune as there are pretty women to deserve them."
- Mansfield Park

Paraphrase:
"There aren’t enough rich guys to go around."

 
2.

Original Quote:
"When she heard him declare that of music and dancing he was passionately fond, she gave him such a look of approbation as secured the largest share of his discourse to herself for the rest of his stay."
- Sense and Sensibility 
Paraphrase:

"When he said he liked music and dancing, she smiled so much that he talked to her till he left." 

3.
Original Quote:
"Let him have all the perfections in the world, I think it ought not to be set down as certain that a man must be be acceptable to every woman he may happen to like himself."
- Fanny Price, Mansfield Park 
Paraphrase:
“Even if he has all the good points in the world, I think it shouldn’t be assumed that a guy will be loved by every girl he might decide he likes.”
 
4.
Original Quote: 
"You will think my question an odd one, I dare say," said Lucy to her one day, as they were walking together from the park to the cottage—"but pray, are you personally acquainted with your sister-in-law's mother, Mrs. Ferrars?"
- Lucy Steele, Sense and Sensibility 
Paraphrase:
 “Hey, completely random question here: you know your brother’s wife’s mother?”

{Poll removed--results}
Poll Six: More quotes from Northanger Abbey

1.
Original Quote:"The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid. I have read all Mrs. Radcliffe's works, and most of them with great pleasure. The Mysteries of Udolpho, when I had once begun it, I could not lay down again; -- I remember finishing it in two days -- my hair standing on end the whole time."
- Henry Tilney (longer quote)
Satire:

"Anyone, guy or girl, who can't read a book, is really dumb. I read all Radcliffe's stuff, some of them were awesome. The Mysteries of Udolpho, after I finally cracked it, I couldn't put it down; -- I was done in two days -- It freaked me out. Spooky."
 
2.
Original Quote:
"But when a young lady is to be a heroine, the perverseness of forty surrounding families cannot prevent her. Something must and will happen to throw a hero in her way." 
Satire:
“But when a girl is destined to be a star, the lack of guys in the neighborhood can’t stop her. Something has to take place to bring a cute guy into her life.”
 
3.
Original Quote:
"Very true," said Henry, "and this is a very nice day, and we are taking a very nice walk, and you are two very nice young ladies." 
Satire:
"Yeah," he said “and this is a cool day, and this is a cool walk, and you are two cool chicks!"

{Poll removed--results}
Poll 7: Miscellaneous

1.
Original Quote:

“It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt.”
- Mark Twain
Paraphrase:
“Shut up and let people think you’re foolish –it’s better than opening your mouth and making them right.” 

2.
Original Quote:

"Reader, I married him."
~Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Paraphrase:
"Dude, we got hitched."

{Poll removed--results}
And lastly...
Poll Eight: Captain Wentworth's Letter
Two people actually had the same idea! I don't know how you all will choose between the two of them, but here they are...

Original:
"I can listen no longer in silence. I must speak to you by such means as are within my reach. You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it, eight years and a half ago. Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you. Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant. You alone have brought me to Bath. For you alone I think and plan. Have you not seen this? Can you fail to have understood my wishes? I had not waited even these ten days, could I have read your feelings, as I think you must have penetrated mine. I can hardly write. I am every instant hearing something which overpowers me. You sink your voice, but I can distinguish the tones of that voice when they would be lost on others. Too good, too excellent creature! You do us justice, indeed. You do believe that there is true attachment and constancy among men. Believe it to be most fervent, most undeviating, in
F. W."
"I must go, uncertain of my fate; but I shall return hither, or follow your party, as soon as possible. A word, a look will be enough to decide whether I enter your father's house this evening or never."
- Captain Wentworth, Persuasion by Jane Austen

Paraphrase 1:
“I can’t listen any more without speaking up. I have to talk to you using the resources at hand. You stab my very soul. I am half despairing, half wishing. Don’t tell me I’m too late, that the cherished feelings we had are gone forever. I give myself to you again with a heart more devoted to you then when you almost broke it eight-and-a-half years ago. Don’t you dare say that guys forget sooner than girls do or that their love dies sooner. I have loved no one but you. I may have been unfair, rotten and bitter, but never unfaithful. I came to Bath because of you. You’re the only one I think about and plan for. Haven’t you seen this? Haven’t you been able to figure out my wishes? I wouldn’t have waited the last ten days if I had been able to detect what you were feeling, as you seem to have detected my feelings. I can barely write. Every moment I’m hearing you say something that astounds me! Now you’ve lowered your voice but I can still hear your sweet words even if no one else can. You are too good and too awesome dear! You do understand us, your verdicts are good. You do understand that guys can be just as equally in love and just as faithful as girls can. Please believe me to be your loving and faithful 
F.W. 

I have to go now without knowing what the future holds but I will be back and follow you. A comment or a glance from you will be enough for me to understand whether I should go to your father’s house tonight or never see you again.”

Paraphrase 2:
"I can't just sit here quietly any more! I have to talk to you the only way I can. My spirit is broken, half of me is depressed, the other half is in the clouds! Don't you dare tell me I spoke too late, that your love is erased forever.I'm proposing again! I belong to you now, more then I did years ago when you completely broke my heart.
  Don't you dare tell me that men forget sooner then women! Or that his love dies first! I've loved only you.  I might have been unfair, I was weak and held a grudge, but I never loved another.You're the reason I'm in Bath. You're the motivation when I think and plan my days. Haven't you noticed?
  I wouldn't have even stayed in town for these last ten days if I could read your heart, the way I believe you've read mine. I can barely write.This very second I hear you whisper something which overpowers me. You are quiet but I can hear your voice when others can't.
  You are too wonderful! You give us due credit. You do believe a man can really love and be attached faithfully! Believe that mine is very faithful to you!"

   F.W.

I have to leave now, but I'll come back, or follow you, ASAP. Just say yes or smile, and I'll talk to your dad soon.

{Poll removed--results}

You get applause from me, everyone! It's been fun collecting your quotes. A little tricky though, too...if I missed any of yours, PLEASE let me know and I will do my best to correct my mistake.
It would be "awesome" if you'd comment and tell us what you voted for. =) 

4 comments:

Lauren said...

They were all great!

My favourites were...

"Hello, Harriet cannot come to the phone right now. Please leave your name, number, and a brief message and Harriet will be with your shortly."

and...

"When he said he liked music and dancing, she smiled so much that he talked to her till he left."

I thought they were really funny ( :

~Lauren

Anne-girl said...

"Dude we got hitched" is...epic!

Melody said...

Lauren, thanks for your comment! Hehe, I love the Harriet one. ;) It's so creative.

Gertrude (aka Anne-girl): haha, I agree. It made me howl with laughter. Well... it would have, except for the fact that I was in a library at the time. haha

Miss Dashwood said...

Now I'm dying to know who wrote what... of course I know which ones *I* submitted. :P

"And you are two cool chicks" made me snort with laughter. I had such a hard time choosing between that one and the "It freaked me out. Spooky" one. But I ended up choosing the cool chicks.

"Hey, completely random question here: you know your brother’s wife’s mother?" That one MMG too. :)

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