14 November 2013

The Wonderful Wizard of You

A tweet alerted me to this service, which offers to create an edition of L. Frank Baum’s Wonderful Wizard of Oz customized for yourself or a person of your choice.

This consists of stuffing your specified names (and, curiously, eye color) into the novel’s public-domain text. I tried it out, and this is part of the resulting preview:
They walked along listening to the singing of the brightly colored birds and looking at the lovely flowers which now became so thick that the ground was carpeted with them. There were big yellow and white and blue and purple blossoms, besides great clusters of scarlet poppies, which were so brilliant in color they almost dazzled John's brown eyes.

"Aren't they beautiful?" the girl asked, as she breathed in the spicy scent of the bright flowers.

"I suppose so," answered Buckingham Scarecrow. "When I have brains, I shall probably like them better."

"If I only had a heart, I should love them," added Pablo the Tin Woodman.

"I always did like flowers," said Harold the Cowardly Lion. "They seem so helpless and frail. But there are none in the forest so bright as these."

They now came upon more and more of the big scarlet poppies, and fewer and fewer of the other flowers; and soon they found themselves in the midst of a great meadow of poppies. Now it is well known that when there are many of these flowers together their odor is so powerful that anyone who breathes it falls asleep, and if the sleeper is not carried away from the scent of the flowers, he sleeps on and on forever. But John did not know this, nor could she get away from the bright red flowers that were everywhere about; so presently her eyes grew heavy and she felt she must sit down to rest and to sleep.
I think we might agree that there’s still one bug in the system.

The same site offers to treat various other classic (i.e., public-domain) texts in the same way. That means, I presume, you can stand in for Hercule Poirot in Agatha Christie’s first mystery novel, insert your name in Jane Austen’s roundelays, or head off to Treasure Island with Long John Silver—or rather Long Jason Silver if you prefer.

COMING UP: But wait! There’s more!


Chaucerian said...

Oh, yuck.

Glenn Ingersoll said...

I think an opportunity to upload one's own illustrations of a classic text - and print out a book version - would be a charming vanity product. Messing with the text on the other hand ...

J. L. Bell said...

I think that's a swell idea, Glenn. You're near Silicon Valley—write up a business plan! Raise capital!