Is The New Yorker getting in on the literary parodies genre? A recent post, “Le Blog de Jean-Paul Sartre,” imagines the French Existentialist as a contemporary blogger. The deadpan entries make fun of both bloggers and Existentialists, with diary-like minutiae alongside somber, emo musings. A sample:
An angry crow mocked me this morning. I couldn’t finish my croissant, and fled the café in despair.
The crow descended on the croissant, squawking fiercely. Perhaps this was its plan. Perhaps there is no plan.
I’ve seen lots of pretty bad comedy based on contemporary, internet references and/or highbrow references, but this is pretty good. And I like thinking about what literary figures from the past would be doing in our present environment. Would Marquis de Sade run a zany, sexually explicit Twitter account? Would Samuel Beckett do a weekly Stickam show with just a camera turned on in a small, dark, empty room? Would Anais Nin be an “overshare” blogger or prolific sexter? Fun to think about.