Many years ago, Salman Rushdie was having a conversation about Robert Ludlum with someone whose name I forget. Rushie’s interlocturor went on about Ludlum titles. (Some Ludlum titles for those of you unfamiliar his ouevre: The Bourne Identity; The Holcroft Covenant; The Aquitane Progression; The Chancellor [sic] Manuscript; The Scorpio Illusion; The Prometheus Deception… you get the picture.) He noted their simplicity and genius and suggested that Shakespeare could never have done that with any of his work. At which point, Rushdie immediately blurted, “The Elsinor Vascillations”.
In the comment on Wired’s 6 word story challenge, Jonathan Kramnick offer some gems in the form of 6 word rewrites of classics, among them this rendition of Hamlet: “They killed dad. What to do?” Combined Hamlet would be:
The Elsinor Vascillations
They killed dad. What to do?”
I wonder how many classics this would work for.