Welcome back to Lizzie Bennet Diaries week! After examining the web series’ Kickstarter and fanbase, today we’re looking into its future. Bernie Su and Hank Green will be adapting a second book into a vlog format later this year, and they have many options. After much consternation (that is, forcing myself to remember all the books I read in high school), I’ve determined seven classic works of fiction that would work well as YouTube vlogs.
Emma – This is the most logical choice, given its similarities to Pride and Prejudice, which serves as Lizzie Bennet’s source material. It’s another Jane Austen novel and also offers a satirical take on the life of a young woman in 18th-century England. An Emma vlog would be right in Su and Green’s wheelhouse, and a few enterprising Lizzie Bennet fans have already adapted it on their own.
The Canterbury Tales - Personally, I’d prefer to see Su and Green tackle a work that comes with brand new challenges, and The Canterbury Tales fits that bill to a T. Modernizing Chaucer’s language and setting would be tough, but his goofy characters would translate well to the “acting out” style that comes with any successful vlog.
The Catcher In The Rye - The youthful leads of Lizzie Bennet carry the series, so adapting another book with a young protagonist is sensible. Holden Caulfield’s tortured rants on the phoniness of adult society are characteristically similar to the tirades of modern YouTubers.
Dracula - Bram Stoker’s most famous work is already separated into a number of different viewpoints, and a vlog series based on it could use these narrative shifts to its advantage. Plus, we all know vampires are very chic these days.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream - As with The Canterbury Tales, this would be a mighty challenge given the antiquity of Shakespeare’s language, but modernizing The Bard is a common exercise and his most famous comedy has the rich romances and ridiculous situations that Lizzie Bennet‘s fans would eat right up.
Anna Karenina – Adapting Tolstoy’s masterpiece would require a tonal shift, but given the satirical elements embedded in the novel, it would be plenty entertaining as a vlog. Plus, its length would allow each individual installment to be very juicy.
As I Lay Dying - William Faulkner’s Southern Gothic tale is an exercise in perspective, one that would make for an experimental–and very interesting–vlog. Just as the Faulkner’s voice changes depending on which of his 15 narrators is active, the vlogs could take different shapes depending on who’s talking. Vardaman’s barely-coherent babbling would have to be adapted in 240p for sure.
What novel do you think should be adapted into a vlog? Share your thoughts in the comments below.