14 March 2006

Godot Finally Turns Up

Ben MacIntyre has decided to cheer things up a little in literature classics. In his article "To Cuddle a Mockingbird," he responds to a survey that found that most readers preferred a happy ending. Accordingly, he created happy endings for a number of works of literature. For example, he says, "Macbeth is much too depressing. In my version the gentle, unassuming and monosyllabic thane settles down at Cawdor, where Lady Macbeth develops a profitable line in soap that leaves the hands spotless. Hamlet finds a shrink, marries Ophelia and goes into insurance." On the other hand, he notes that a few people preferred gloomy endings, so he proposes a couple of those too. He gives the following example: "Pride and Prejudice could be rendered less saccharine by introducing the scene where Darcy explains to Elizabeth that it is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune still in want of a wife is obviously gay, so he is moving to Tangiers to live with Wickham." Read the full story. Via Arts and Letters Daily.

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