Commando in Chief

By Beckerman, Jim | The Record (Bergen County, NJ), June 19, 2012 | Go to article overview

Commando in Chief


Beckerman, Jim, The Record (Bergen County, NJ)


Abe Lincoln and vampires. Why, it's the greatest combination since peanut butter and barium. Or Romeo and a particle accelerator.

In the brave new world of "mash-ups," anything goes. More important, anything goes with anything else.

"Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter," based on Seth Grahame-Smith's 2010 bestseller and coming to theaters Friday, is the first example of this quirky literary sub-genre to reach the screen. But given the success of this odd publishing trend that began in 2009 with "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" (also by Grahame-Smith) and a horde of successors, it probably won't be the last.

After all, who could resist Benjamin Walker as the 16th president, great emancipator and one awesome, ax-wielding, vampire- killing dude?

"It troubles me that a great American could be mixed up with worrying about vam-

pires," says Michael Aaron Rockland, an American studies professor at Rutgers University. "But it does have a kind of appeal, because of how weird they are together. You're mixing oil and water."

Not wild about the idea of Honest Abe as Van Helsing in a stovepipe hat? No worries. There are lots of other iconic characters who are now available with blend-in items.

How about the March sisters of New England in hairy new circumstances ("Little Women and Werewolves," co-written by Porter Grand)? Or cyber-age Tolstoy ("Android Karenina," co-written by Ben H. Winters)? Or a Queen Victoria unamused by creatures from the underworld ("Queen Victoria: Demon Hunter," by A.E. Moorat)?

Ridiculous recipes

"Mash-ups" are recipes made with ingredients that were never meant to go together. Typically, they involve a preposterous forced marriage between the elevated (Lincoln, Tolstoy, Louisa May Alcott) and the trashy (vampires, zombies, sea monsters). They are the reductio ad absurdum of today's Cuisinart culture, where ideas, characters and concepts can be juggled as effortlessly as a laptop user juggling paragraphs. In a word, they are "post-modern."

Yet it's not as arbitrary as it sounds. A successful mash-up must have ingredients that - however absurdly at odds on the surface - also fit together in a weird way. Take Abraham Lincoln and vampires. On one level, it's an insult to history. On another level, Abe was undeniably a righteous, gnarly dude with a grunge look. And that ax is killer.

"They chose carefully," says Esther Clinton, visiting assistant professor of popular culture at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Commando in Chief
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.