We continue to stretch (and occasionally ignore) the definition of “genre” here on Genre Friday. This time around we’re dealing not with a “genre” that is tied together by similar form, or theme, or subject, but by what it is attempting to do instead. That’s right, it’s pastiche time.
First, it’s pronounced pa’ steesh.
Second, it’s sort of like that saying that imitation is the most sincere form of flattery. Unlike parody, that imitates something in order to poke fun at it, pastiche imitates something to honor it or to bring it to life for a new generation. The results of such an attempt can be light-hearted, even flippant, but it is still generally respectful of the original material. It is done as much out of admiration for the original art or artist (and it can be applied to any art form – painting, films, music, literature, etc.) as anything else.
It’s actually a really nice idea if you think about it.
Sometimes the new work is only loosely related to the original (think West Side Story and Romeo and Juliet). Sometimes it is an off-shoot or continuation of a pre-existing story or set of stories. Anthony Horowitz’s The House of Silk, for example, is an authorized continuation of the adventures of Sherlock Holmes. Alexandra Ripley’s Scarlett, however, is not an official sequel to Gone with the Wind, but still pays homage to the original source in its style and subject, not to mention main character.
Plus, once you get the hang of it, it’s kind of fun to say. Pastiche.
We all remember our high school literary staples. Who could forget reading The Great Gatsby or Scarlet Letter at a tiny desk in a 10th grade English class? These books are important and unforgettable; however, in their flurry to finish 50 pages of Animal Farm in one night, high school students tend to gloss over the modern pieces and even classics that do not often find a spot in their high school syllabi or the usually repetitive lists of “10 Books to Read Before College.” OverDrive is here to both remind you of and introduce you to these brilliant books that are not only integral to a high school student’s literary repertoire, but also, and perhaps more importantly, fun to read.
And even if, like me, college is an increasingly distant memory for you, or if college was never a stop on your particular path, a good book recommendation is always an exciting thing. I may even be more exciting now – let the high schoolers worry about expanding their ‘literary repertoire.’ We can read for fun!
Sure there are other places in town to view the eclipse from… pretty much anywhere in fact… but you’ll be hard pressed to find a better place.
That should be all you need to know.
And you won’t have to worry about sea gulls stealing your ice cream.
We’ll be there. You should be too!