When Kafka woke from unsettling dreams, he found himself brought back to life. And he was pissed. He requested most of his works be burned upon his death, but they were not. “You better reincarnate Max Brod so I can give him a piece of his mind.”
Thanks to reanimation technology, the world rebooted some of the greatest literary talents. Shakespeare was, of course, the priority. He couldn’t believe the tourist trap Stratford-upon-Avon had become. But he got the biggest kick out of the fact his works were taught in schools. “People read my plays instead of performing them? What nonsense is this?”
Homer spent all his time listening to television. He loved the cartoon character that shared his name.
Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky were comparing. “Mine’s longer,” Tolstoy bragged.
The Bronte sisters got their own television talk show, and invited Jane Austin along for good measure.
Charles Dickens would spend the rest of eternity trying to watch all the adaptations of A Christmas Carol. “Did this world run out of ideas?” he was heard saying. His re-existence answered that question.
Camus read his biographies and laughed at how far they were from the truth. While Satre preferred it when nothing existed.
“It’s okay to be gay now?” Oscar Wilde was amazed. He and Plato ran off to the Castro. Oscar was surprised to discover the men there knew nothing about wit. “Perhaps you should read my plays.” Most had no idea who he was.
Mark Twain stayed awake nights wondering if the world had gotten more or less prejudiced and narrow-mined. He also noted: “I said more interesting things after my death than when I was alive.”
H.G. Wells collected his paychecks from Hollywood, while Jules Verne check marked his books to see what he got right.
Edgar Allen Poe thought it’d be fun to go around scaring people. He hid around his museum in Baltimore and jumped out shouting “Nevermore!” at unsuspecting visitors.
J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis now had more to discuss when it came to religion. Tolkien was often distracted with bragging that the film adaptations of his works were better than Lewis’. (Though he dismissed that unnecessary Hobbit trilogy.)
Ernest Hemingway kicked all the tourists out of his Key West home, and spent his days tending to the 54 6-toed cats who resided there.
Scott Fitzgerald headed straight to a bar. Zelda visited mental health institutions. She was amazed at how much more understanding people were on the subject. But was confused by people asking her if she knew about Link and his quest.
Virginia Woolf discovered that no amount of rocks in her pocket could drown her this time. She and Sylvia Plath bonded over not wanting to be part of this world.
George Orwell was enraged: “You brought the cameras and listening devices into your homes by choice!?!?” He spent most of his rebirth crying.
Aldous Huxley was terrified by all of it.
And I burned my manuscripts, knowing they will never get published now.
By Thomas J. Misuraca