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God Finally Responds to Margaret, Via Text

We all know Margaret posed the question, but did God ever actually respond – or did he just ghost the teenage-angst and puberty struck Margaret? This cover of Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret takes a contemporary frame to answer the question. Well, partially.

 

A photo posted by B.J. Novak (@picturesoftext) on

Ah, the infuriating triple dots. We can only imagine what the anticipated response would be – ‘new phone who dis’, ‘wrong number’, the list of divine digitized responses is endless. Although Judy Blume’s 1970’s Margaret probably didn’t own a cell phone and if God does have one he probably doesn’t slum to the bugs and glitches of a mortal-made iPhone, the cover does bring a fresh approach to the classic story.

You’re welcome to dive into the symbolic nature of the triple dots (perhaps the anticipation of a response represents Margaret’s continued faith?) but we think this cover is upholds not a a weighty metahpor, but rather an ongoing comical trend in literature. 

Ever since writer Sarah Schmelling translated the story of Hamlet into a Facebook feed on McSweeny’s way back when, other authors and publishers have followed in her footsteps, eager to explore a whole new breed of appropriation. First came the birth of Facebook-Lit, with Schmelling’s emerging title Ophelia Joined the Group Maidens Who Don’t Float, followed by Twitterature, the obsession with transforming famous lines and author voices into 140 character tweets.

 

Twitterature by Alexander Aciman

 

Following the onslaught of Facebook affiliated trends came text-slag adaptions. Classic Shakespeare tales revised as texts flooded amazon (the safe-haven for punny books) with titles like Macbeth #killingit, YOLO Juliet and A Midsummer Night #nofilter. Even more reccently the trend has blistered up, producing books like Texts from Jane Eyre, an emoji version of the Bible (which got a lot of heat) and one spectacular cover for Judy Blume’s timeless novel.

 

Texts from Jane Eyre by Mallory Ortberg

Of course, there’s a difference between adapting an older text with a contemporary frame and merely replacing an old cover with a quippy new one, but both engage in an intellectual play that – we must admit – makes us laugh just a little bit. 

 

Featured image courtesy of Book Mark Dragon.