Saturday, August 15, 2009

FUCKING FRANKENSTEIN by MR. MATT ALLEN

The mashup--the combining of two or more disparate pieces of music or video or software to create something new--is an iffy proposition. Although the end result is always going to be new, can it really be said to be original? The act itself is creation, of course, but is it truly creative? Starting with music sampling in the eighties (art or plagiarism? clever post-modern self-referentialism or lazy shortcut-taking?) the debate has raged, even as the purveyors--true believers and lazy bandwagon jumpers both--have practiced and refined their craft (or art).

The literary mashup is a newer form even than that of music and video. At its best, the literary mashup takes a known, preferably beloved, entity and through the thoughtful insertion of material something new and wonderful is born. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, published earlier this year, is just such a work. In it, co-author Seth Grahame-Smith takes the mannered world of Regency England and layers upon it a well-developed alternative 19th century in which zombies roam the earth and Miss Bennett and her friends are bad-ass ninja zombie fighters. The original text of Pride and Prejudice resides comfortably--and hilariously--beside the new material, and the result, as Monty Python would say, is something completely different.

On the other hand, Fucking Frankenstein is an example of the mashup as expensive practical joke fallen very, very flat. Fucking flat, as juvenile prankster Matt Allen would say. In the only truly creative fucking portion of the book, Mr. Matt Allen purports to have discovered the manuscript of Fucking Frankenstein, "one of the most peculiar and earliest works of fan fiction in literary history" while researching Mary Shelley's work for a fucking film project. He goes on to assert that a rabid fucking fan of Mary Shelley created the work as an act of traumatic homage to her idol after the birth of a stillborn child.

One can picture Mr. Matt Allen cackling childishly over his keyboard every time he fucking inserts the word fuck somewhere in the classic text. One can imagine that this would be kind of a funny inside fucking joke, something that Mr. Matt Allen would email excerpts of to his equally juvenile fucking friends. What one can't fucking fathom, though, is the fucking dedication to such a moronic fucking project that would impel him to cough up the fucking money necessary to self publish it.

One hopes that Mr. Matt Allen's film projects have more fucking creative impetus and originality of execution than this fucking work does. If not, he's going to go broke in pursuit of his fucking joke...and I hate to say it, but we'll all be fucking laughing at him, not with him.

1 comment:

matt said...

I dug it. I thought it was funny.