Imagine Mansfield Park
set on the Jersey Shore. Or Mr. Darcy heading up the Starship Enterprise
. Or Emma Woodhouse traveling through time to indulge her matchmaking.
If you think that sounds like bad Austen, you couldn't be more right. It is a truth universally acknowledged that an author as popular as Jane Austen should be imitated, expanded upon, and parodied. Now, in the tradition of the Bad Hemingway and Bad Faulkner contests, enjoy a new collection of hilarious efforts to write the worst excerpt from the novel Jane Austen never wrote. On the website www.badausten.com, we encourage people to parody Jane until she screams for mercy. And these are the hilarious results.
Bad Austen: Because the only thing funnier than good Austen is bad Austen!
Peter Archer is an editor at Adams Media and author of The Quotable Intellectual and I Watch, Therefore I Am. In his life he has been a college instructor, a convenience-store clerk, and a short-order cook, as well as a lifelong fan of Jane Austen.
Jennifer Lawler is a writer and editor and the author or coauthor of more than thirty books. Love of Jane Austen may have convinced her to earn a PhD in English Literature, but it was the love of laughter that made her beg to help create Bad Austen.