Monday, September 7, 2009

Mashup Homerun? "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" Is Just One Form of Contemporary Combo

Mashup Homerun? "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" Is Just One Form of Contemporary Combo

It was perhaps a couple years ago that I first heard the term "mashup" - at which time it was specifically in reference to the combination of two different literary works into an alternate - vastly different - literary work. Seth Grahame-Smith's update on the Jane Austin classic, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, has brought the literary mashup mainstream.

However, as it turns out, the mashup has already morphed into a term that encompasses not only literature, but virtually any medium that can be combined: music, video, Web sites, to name just a few.

Here are a few definitions of mashup, in my preferred order of clarity:
"Mashup" is recombinant art, derived art. Some may call it type of plagiarism resulting from the impulse to create paired with a lack of imagination. Others will contend that this process of remixing source materials, whether they be "found sounds", literature or pop music has great artistic merit. This site focusses on the use of mashup in the print medium: fiction and other types of creative writing. Although mashup can take many forms and is known by many names, the process remains the same: elements of different source materials are mixed together (or "juxtaposed") to create a new composition. SOURCE


A mash-up is a Web page or application that integrates complementary elements from two or more sources. Mash-ups are often created by using a development approach called Ajax . Here's a sampling of mash-up Web sites:
  • Panoramio: A mash-up of Google Maps and geopositioned photographs of locations
  • Hiking Outpost: A mash-up of Amazon and online hiking information resources
  • Flash Earth: A zoomable mash-up of Google Maps and Microsoft's Virtual Earth
  • Diggdot: A mash-up of Digg, Slashdot and that integrates and filters content
  • HousingMaps: A mash-up of Google Maps and Craigslist rental ads that displays geographical information for rental properties. 


A digital mashup is a digital media file containing any or all of text, graphics, audio, video and animation drawn from pre-existing sources, to create a new derivative work. SOURCE


NOTE: Spoiler Alert

Here are two blog reviews of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies as a mashup. WARNING: Do not read these if you haven't finished the book and do not want to spoil it. You have been warned.
Happy reading!

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