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The ninja-replacement scale of literature

celebration, frivolity, dancing, La!, joy
It occurs to me you can rate other works of literature by how many characters need to be replaced by ninjas to make it better. For example, for other recent reading:
Shelley's Prometheus Unbound - Would be improved if either Asia or Panthea was a ninja -- I'm not sure which would be better. Both wouldn't work, though.

Byron's Manfred - The whole bleeping cast needs to be replaced by ninjas (except for the spirits, who'd have to be tengus). And then drop-kicked off the Jungfrau.

Keats's Endymion - Ninjas would be superfluous.
This gives them ninja-replacement scores (NRS) of 1, ∞, and 0, respectively. It also works with prose -- Lord of the Rings has an NRS of 0 (the only possible improvement is ninja!Sam, but that wrecks the last line), while Pride and Prejudice has NRS = 5 (arguably).

Care to rate any others?

ETA: Ninja-replacement in Shakespeare is being discussed here.

---L.

Comments

( 88 comments — Leave a comment )
gillpolack
Mar. 11th, 2007 05:11 am (UTC)
Byron himself could have been replaced by a ninja. And Keats could ahve written "Ode to an Imaginary Ninja" about his replacement. And the world would be a better place.

Try looking at Shelley's other poetry - his ninja score is quite high in everything *except* Prometheus.

I like the principle of ninja-repacement every much, even if I abuse it :). I intend to apply it to Blake's shorter poems tonight (no ninjas in 'London', but replace Blake's lamb with a ninja instantly)
lnhammer
Mar. 11th, 2007 02:42 pm (UTC)
The world would certainly be better for a Keats poem like that. Replacing Byron, though, would essentially mean replacing Childe Harold as well, no?

You're dead right about Shelley. Except possibly The Cenci -- only Beatrice for that one.

---L.
(no subject) - gillpolack - Mar. 12th, 2007 04:36 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - lnhammer - Mar. 12th, 2007 02:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
sartorias
Mar. 11th, 2007 05:59 am (UTC)
No ninjas in Austen! Humph!
lnhammer
Mar. 11th, 2007 02:44 pm (UTC)
"It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a fortune must be in want of a personal assassin."

Don't ninja anyone but the Bennett sisters, though -- not even the others. But them? Oh yeah.

---L.
(no subject) - pbray - Mar. 11th, 2007 03:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
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sartorias
Mar. 11th, 2007 06:00 am (UTC)
I'd put ninjas in all Ayn Rand's stuff. Ninjas are quiet. They do not get up on their hind legs and gassify for fifty pages.
_twilight_
Mar. 11th, 2007 07:35 am (UTC)
What? Wasn't Galt a ninja?
(no subject) - lnhammer - Mar. 11th, 2007 02:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
_twilight_
Mar. 11th, 2007 07:37 am (UTC)
I think that some of the skin condition pictures in The Human Body in Health and Disease would have worked better as fightin' ninjas.
wyldemusick
Mar. 11th, 2007 09:15 am (UTC)
Coleridge. "The Tale Of The Ancient Mariner" would be an entirely different tale with a Ninja Mariner, and he'd certainly stoppeth more than one of three, though that would be less about telling his tale than stealthily beating up and/or killing people.

Mind you, I haven't been able to consider "The Tale Of The Ancient Mariner" with a straight face since encountering "The Tale Of The Ancient Cricketer."

H. Rider Haggard's King Solomon's Mines might benefit from the insertion of Ninja, but it could be argued also that Ninja would ne redundant given the quotient of Noble Savage Warriors.

Dickens' A Christmas Carol would be improved with the insertion of Ninja. Indeed, there could be an entire heart-warming third act to the story where Tiny Tim is taken in by the Ninja and given not only the Secret Ninja Training but also all of the Secret Herbal Medicinal Secrets so that he's completely cured. The end of the book would be Ebenezer Scrooge coming to the realization that he's been a worthless toad all of his life, at which point Tiny Tim would materialize from the shadows and silently kill him.

What else? Les Miserables would be much better if Javert were a Ninja.

War And Peace would be vastly more readable with Ninja, don't you think?
seattlesparks
Mar. 11th, 2007 09:45 am (UTC)
On King Solomon's Mines, I'm not completely certain that Quatermain isn't the Victorian-era equivalent of a ninja adventurer as it is...

And I'm of the opinion that Les Miserablés would be vastly improved not only with the addition of ninjas, but if they quietly off'd Cosette somewhere in the first half. (And then, just for good measure, if the ninjas wandered over to the musical and off'd Cosette there, where she's far worse.) I do love Les Mis, but something about Cosette sets my teeth on edge.

Is there a separate measure for improval by ninja assassinations? 'NRS' and 'NAS,' perhaps?
(no subject) - lnhammer - Mar. 11th, 2007 02:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - coffeeem - Mar. 11th, 2007 08:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
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beth_bernobich
Mar. 11th, 2007 01:49 pm (UTC)
I love your view of literature.
lnhammer
Mar. 11th, 2007 04:46 pm (UTC)
*g*

---L.
kristine_smith
Mar. 11th, 2007 03:19 pm (UTC)
If the Mapp & Lucia books had had ninja, no one would have lived past Chapter One of the first book.

I think Olga could be a ninja. And maybe Diva.
lnhammer
Mar. 11th, 2007 03:34 pm (UTC)
But would stopping at chapter one been an improvement?

---L.
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incandragon
Mar. 11th, 2007 03:34 pm (UTC)
OMG! I love this! (Unfortunately my lit books are packed for the move, I have to do this with my brain.)
Huckleberry Finn! (Wait. Now that I think of it, maybe there was.)
Mann's Magic Mountain, please. (Only there'd have to be a lot, and they'd have to work fast. And they might not make it out. But it would help!)
Shakespeare -- Hmm. Again, maybe there was. What happened to Rosencrantz?
lnhammer
Mar. 11th, 2007 04:26 pm (UTC)
Janni and I have been debating exactly who in Hamlet should be ninjafied. Possibly just the two Hamlets and Claudius, but it still doesn't quite work out. Or maybe just the pirates.

There's Shakespeare plays with NRS = 0, such as The Tempest, and ones with NRS = ∞ *looks at Titus*, and some midling ones -- replacing the fairies in Midsummer, for ex, gives a score of 8, if you count just speaking parts. But a lot of the tragedies are hard to score. Julius Caesar, for ex -- should anyone but the conspiritors be replaced? And how many of them were there, anyway?

---L.
(no subject) - randimason - Mar. 11th, 2007 05:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - lnhammer - Mar. 11th, 2007 05:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
lnhammer
Mar. 11th, 2007 03:59 pm (UTC)
This just in
Sally Kimball? Totally needs to be a ninja. She's already halfway to one as it is.

---L.
rymenhild
Mar. 11th, 2007 07:52 pm (UTC)
Re: This just in
*wanders in from shaksper_random* Oh, Sally Kimball is absolutely a ninja.

Now I'm thinking about children's books. The Westing Game ought to have a few ninjas. Turtle doesn't need to be any awesomer (although she does kick people, so she could be a ninja!). I bet Angela's a ninja, anyway, secretly. So is Judge Ford.
Re: This just in - reconditarmonia - Mar. 11th, 2007 09:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: This just in - lnhammer - Mar. 11th, 2007 09:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: This just in - _twilight_ - Mar. 12th, 2007 02:29 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: This just in - lnhammer - Mar. 12th, 2007 02:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
Johnny Tremain - _twilight_ - Mar. 12th, 2007 09:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Johnny Tremain - lnhammer - Mar. 12th, 2007 10:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: This just in - janni - Mar. 12th, 2007 05:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: This just in - janni - Mar. 12th, 2007 05:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: This just in - lnhammer - Mar. 12th, 2007 05:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
jankenstein
Mar. 12th, 2007 06:21 am (UTC)
The Ninja Kama Sutra.
lnhammer
Mar. 12th, 2007 02:48 pm (UTC)
While that would be cool, I'm not sure that would necessarily improve it.

---L.
(no subject) - returnoftheblog - Mar. 12th, 2007 07:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
returnoftheblog
Mar. 12th, 2007 07:37 pm (UTC)
What if you took Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and made him a ninja?

I would suggest making Dune characters into ninja except that half of them already come insanely close to being ninja.

I vote we make Captain Nemo a ninja, not because the book needs improvement but because a ninja with his very own attack sub and who attacks other ships would be totally AWESOME.
lnhammer
Mar. 12th, 2007 10:27 pm (UTC)
except that half of them already come insanely close to being ninja

Exactly. Ninjas aren't the way to improve that book.

Just as, while ninja!Nemo would be awesome, he wouldn't necessarily improve things -- just be different.

---L.
returnoftheblog
Mar. 12th, 2007 07:47 pm (UTC)
"Lord of the Rings has an NRS of 0"

Ringwraiths = ghost ninjas?
lnhammer
Mar. 12th, 2007 10:29 pm (UTC)
Again, awesome but not better.

Besides ghost ninjas are too over-the-top to work in a serious epic. Ghost or ninja -- pick one.

---L.
(no subject) - returnoftheblog - Mar. 13th, 2007 03:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - lnhammer - Mar. 13th, 2007 04:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
returnoftheblog
Mar. 13th, 2007 03:34 pm (UTC)
All of a sudden I have this mental image of various Shakespeare plays enacted by Naruto characters.

*imagines Sakura as Juliet and bursts out laughing*
lnhammer
Mar. 13th, 2007 04:55 pm (UTC)
Just how many hidjously miscast productions of R&J and Cinderella are there in manga, anyway? More than a handful.

---L.
genghismaximus
Mar. 20th, 2007 07:05 pm (UTC)
The Witch of Blackbird Pond
Making The Quaker Witch a Ninja, then having her kick some Puritan butt when they harassed her would add a bit of excitement to the plot.
lnhammer
Mar. 20th, 2007 07:18 pm (UTC)
Re: The Witch of Blackbird Pond
Not very Quakerly of her, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

I don't think anyone in Friendly Persuasion would work as a ninja, though.

---L.
janni
Mar. 20th, 2007 08:50 pm (UTC)
Exodus would totally be improved by a couple of ninjas.
lnhammer
Mar. 20th, 2007 08:57 pm (UTC)
Moses unleashes a can of kung fu on the Pharaoh's magicians? He already almost does.

---L.
(no subject) - janni - Mar. 20th, 2007 09:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
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coraa
Nov. 6th, 2009 01:30 am (UTC)
I just found this, years after the fact, thanks to a link from buymeaclue. But I can't help but think that I would have found Tess of the d'Urbervilles massively less depressing if Tess, after being mistreated by Alec, had gone in for ninja training.

Edited at 2009-11-06 01:30 am (UTC)
lnhammer
Nov. 6th, 2009 03:15 am (UTC)
Does only Tess need to be a ninja, or any others? To be honest, I remember very little about that book.

---L.
(no subject) - coraa - Nov. 6th, 2009 05:06 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - lnhammer - Nov. 6th, 2009 02:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
pingback_bot
Nov. 13th, 2009 02:07 am (UTC)
No title
User buymeaclue referenced to your post from No title saying: [...] New application of the ninja-replacement scale! Songs, of course. I was driving home from the barn tonight (I rode my horse! Just walk and a little bit of trot, but all systems appear to be go) and radio-surfed onto (forgive me) Reba ... [...]
( 88 comments — Leave a comment )
... a place for posting bits of fluff caught in my filters. Warning: I list "very bad poetry" among my interests.

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