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You won’t believe what happens when Upworthy headlines meet classic literature

Because what great books really need is artificial drama.


Sarah Weber


Posted on Jan 25, 2014   Updated on May 31, 2021, 8:18 pm CDT

Once upon a time, before the Internet made it possible to track influence in acute detail, before titles were optimized for shareability, people had to name books.

Perhaps they missed out. How much more successful would Lolita have been if it was just named this:

“Some Guy With Two First Names Proves That “Nymphet” Is The Grossest Word In English.” #Lolita rewritten #litworthy

— Iva Dixit (@ivadixit) January 25, 2014

If you’re a literature fan, you may have seen such hilarious takes on popular and classic books floating around Twitter under the hashtag #litworthy. These cheeky book names restyled in Upworthy fashion were inspired by Janet Potter at The Millions. She posted her own list last week (which you should definitely read) and encouraged readers to do the same.

“…What if books were whorishly titled, optimizing our search engines rather than our imaginations, rather than leaving us to discover who Oliver Twist was or who was proud and who was prejudiced?” she wrote. 

It really caught on and has produced some priceless contributions. Here are a few of our favorites:

A man drinks bowls of coffee on the Rue de Whatever and later that night gets too damn drunk to feel. In Paris. #litworthy #everyhemingway

— Ryan Johnston (@Johnston_Ryan) January 24, 2014

It Took A Plane Crash To Teach These Kids A Valuable Lesson In Social Darwinism. #litworthy #lordoftheflies

— mattio! (@_mattio) January 24, 2014

You’ll be amazed at what these men learned from being subjected to quarantine. #ThePlague #litworthy

— Armchair/Shotgun (@ArmchairShotgun) January 24, 2014

This is What Happens When One Smalltown Lawyer Stands Up to Racism #litworthy #mockingbird

— LM Lockhart (@missdoomcookie) January 23, 2014

H/T The Millions | Photo by Jason Parrish/Flickr

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*First Published: Jan 25, 2014, 1:43 pm CST