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Horatio Alger: The Yiddish Version

joesluck.jpgSubmissions for the World’s Longest Literary Remix contest came pouring in this weekend, as participants rewrite one page from a Horatio Alger novel for fun and prizes. Among the many submissions, novelist Mary Guterson sent us a Yiddish revision of a piece of Alger prose–read it after the jump.

150 pre-registered GalleyCat Reviews readers have signed up to rewrite one page of Joe’s Luck: Always Wide Awake (cover pictured, via). We will publish the remixed text as a free digital book. Each remix contributor will be eligible for a random drawing of special giveaway prizes. Three excellent sponsors have donated prizes: and are donating 10 printed copies of the completely remixed novel, using the company’s new print-on-demand service.

2- The remixing experts at Quirk Books will give one lucky winner an assortment of Quirk Classics prizes, including: a signed copy of the deluxe Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (PPZ), the Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters audio book, the audio and print version of PPZ: Dawn of The Dreadfuls, an Android Karenina poster, an assortment of PPZ postcards and a PPZ journal. It’s a prize package worth over $100.

3-The multimedia literary journal Electric Literature will donate “Electric Literature: Year One”–a complete set of the first four issues of the journal–a $40 value.

If you didn’t sign up for the contest but wish you did, email GalleyCat with the subject heading “Remix Waiting List.” If any writers drop out, we will fill the empty slot with a writer from the waiting list.

For your reading pleasure, here’s Guterson’s entry. CAUTION: This features some strong Yiddish!

“Oscar Norton, do you mean to insult Miss Raymond or me?” he demanded. “Why, you little pisher! You think you can get away with giving it to me and Ms. Raymond in the kishkas?”

“Ach, Joey. What a shmuck! So, suddenly you’re the big k-nocker!” Oscar said.

“Oscar, you shmegegge! Use your saychel! Answer already!”

Oscar shrugged. “Don’t plotz, you noodge. Ms. Raymond, you choose such a nudnik to walk with? Look at him! Dressed in shmatas! You know that he works for my father!”

“I need your opinion like a loch in kop, Oscar Norton,” Annie Raymond said. “So he’s not so farpitzsed. He’s still a mensch.”

Joey said, “Your father, he gives me schlock! If I look like a nebbish, it’s because of your mishpacha! It’s a shonda, the way he dresses me.”

“Oy, now I’m all verklempt. I’ll tell him of your tsoris,” Oscar said. But he didn’t mean it.

“Go ahead, you piece of shmutzik! Save me the trouble of telling him the whole megilla!”

“Let’s go,” Annie Raymond said. “Oscar’s opinion isn’t worth bupkes. Besides, I’m starting to shvitz.”

“Bei mir bist du shayn,” said Joey, eyes sparkling.

And they walked on.

“What chutzpah! She’s furblunjit! She’s all fercockt!” he muttered. “Schlepping around with that goniff, Joey!”

Oscar wanted to call her a fershtinkiner and a nafka, but it wouldn’t be kosher. She had a lovely tuches, everyone knew so. She was zaftig like nobody’s business, and Oscar wanted nothing more than to shtup her. But Annie Raymond thought Oscar was nothing but a shlub. And a schnorrer to boot, even if his father had plenty of gelt. And she knew Joey was no shmendrick, either

When Oscar got home he looked for the alter kocker.

“Father,” Oscar said. “That meshugge Joey is telling Annie Raymond that you dress him in shmattes!”

Major Norton looked annoyed.

Mary Guterson is the author of the novels “We Are All Fine Here,” (Putnam, 2005) and “Gone to the Dogs,” (St. Martin’s, 2009)

Want to read more? Check out these other amazing remix entries:
Horatio Alger and the Chocolate Factory
What Would James Ellroy Do?
Horatio Alger Versus The Doppelganger
Horatio Alger in Oz

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