Keeping Up with the Klassics

Posted by Maia Brown-Jackson

While the Kardashians might appear too caught up in perfectly poised selfies and selling lipstick to concentrate on anything beyond themselves, they are able to throw shade with the best of them. So for today’s episode of reality television meets literature, the stars of Keeping Up With the Kardashians recommend Klassic books (and subtle lifestyle changes) to one another.

Blac Chyna, frenemy turned family after her engagement to Rob Kardashian, might recommend that Kylie Jenner reconsider her relationship with ex-boyfriend Tyga. While Kylie’s at it, she should read Lolita, by Vladimir Nabakov, one of the most frequently misinterpreted novels of our time. Much like Tyga, the very untrustworthy narrator, Humbert Humbert begins an affair with the twelve-year-old Dolores “Lolita” Haze.

A bit offended, Kylie told Blac Chyna exactly what she should be reading: Medea by Euripides in which determined, vengeful women in patriarchal society can accomplish anything. Having saved Jason the Argonaut’s life and having his children, Medea is understandably distraught when Jason plans to marry a princess. The rest is well-hidden Kill Bill-style revenge.

Luckily, Blac Chyna avoided the entire woman scorned plot, although she has become more tied up with the family than ever now that she’s engaged to Rob Kardashian. Perhaps Kendall could offer the less violent suggestion of Emma, by Jane Austen, about the titular Emma Woodhouse, rich and problem-free, who interferes in the lives of all of those with whom she is acquainted, attempting to make positive contributions but eliciting mixed success. Hey, just because they’re going to be family doesn’t mean the ladies all want to be best friends.

Meanwhile, Kim, Kourtney, and Khloe have a few thoughts for each other. Kourtney and Kim, concerned over Khloe’s stressed marriage with ex-basketbar star Lamar Odom, gently suggest she take a peek at Gone with the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell. The problematic protagonist Scarlett O’Hara has several marriages, but throughout all of them remains entangled with the Captain Rhett Butler.

After thoroughly examining her own motivations and hopes for the future, Khloe wants to return the favor. She thinks Kourtney should read Vanity Fair, by William Thackeray, a satirical portrayal of the struggle to become and remain wealthy and in the highest echelons of society. While the women’s relationship is not what may be described as “healthy” or “supportive,” they do ultimately want the best for each other.

And speaking of close female relationships, Kylie knows her fashion model sister Kendall has a tendency to be shy and keeps the media at arm’s length. Kendall might enjoy Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway, about the high society woman planning a party and who lets few know her innermost thoughts.

At this point, Rob, quietly hopes his sisters’ dysfunctional dynamic doesn’t reach new heights. He begs the entire family to read The Brothers Karamazov, by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, and remember what is important. Completely ignoring the backdrop of a hyper-political nineteenth century Russia, the most dynamic aspects of this epic work involve the complex relationships between the three very different brothers, their lovers, and their father.

The Kardashians better watch out, though, Amber Rose and Blac Chyna are freshening up on Sun Tzu’s The Art of War

We could go on, but everyone should really get to reading.

Maia Brown-Jackson

Maia Brown-Jackson

Maia Brown-Jackson is a recovering English major and recent transplant to Philadelphia. She tutors high school students when she’s not busy imagining life as a space pirate or internationally renowned detective. While drinking too much coffee and eating too much sugar, she’s mostly alive and learning Tumblr ( and Instagram (