Serial Austen. Mashingups with Zombies
Jane Austen sells. She sells in all possible ways, her novels have been adapted for the cinema and the stage, they have been rewritten as comics and graphic novels. Jane austen is a cultural icon. The interest in her life is so strong that many biographies have been written in order to recover new facts and details. The places where she has lived and the places depicted in her novels have become tourist sites for literary pilgrims. Austen is a cross-over phenomenon, with regency costume balls recreated in her name and an endless proliferation of her works in all media. My essay will investigate Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith’s Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2009), a mash-up novel which has become a real cultural phenomenon of the last decade and will demonstrate how it can be considered a serial narrative. If as Henry Jenkins asserts, seriality implies the unfolding of a story over time through a process of “chunking” (that is creating meaningful parts of the same story) and of “dispersal” (that is breaking the story into more parts and in more genres and media), mash-ups seems to do this. Austen’s story remains as a “story hook” which pushes the reader to come back to different products for a continuation of the same story. So, if on the one hand, seriality occurs within the same text, the story-telling of Austen’s stories across genres and media is part of a seriality process.
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