What If These 10 Famous Writers Lived Today?


We read their writing masterpieces, considering them classics of world literature. But have we ever thought of what would happen to all those novels and stories if their authors lived today in our modern world? Let’s try to imagine, and you are welcome to share your guesswork in comments.

1. Leo Tolstoy

“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”

Interesting fact: On his wedding night, 34-year-old Leo Tolstoy gave his personal diary to his 18-year-old wife Sophia and asked her to read the pages where all his amorous adventures with different women were described in detail. Leo wanted there to be no secrets between him and his young wife.

What he would do today: He would post these writings on social media profiles or share a status on Facebook, letting everyone know what an honest person he is; or he could just hide this fact from his wife, considering it not very important for her to know (alas for the times and the manners!).

2. George Gordon Byron

“Opinions are made to be changed—or how is truth to be got at?”

Interesting fact: Byron had an amazing but strange personal collection—strands of pubic hair that had been cut from his mistresses.

What he would do today: He would become popular as a freak with such a collection; he could get some money for its exhibition; he would become a well known person around the world thanks to the Internet, and he could manage a blog devoted to such a strange hobby. People love weird things online.

3. Charles Dickens

“Never close your lips to those whom you have already opened your heart.”

Interesting fact: Dickens practiced hypnosis or, as it was called then, mesmerism.

What he would do today: He could write a dissertation in psychology, train others in hypnosis, and get a lot of money for it. He could become a famous hypnotist and take part in different TV shows to demonstrate his abilities.

4. Oscar Wilde

“I am so clever that sometimes I don’t understand a single word of what I am saying.”

Interesting fact: Oscar Wilde was a unique and extravagant personality. He spent two years in prison due to accusations of sodomy.

What he would do today: He could write memoirs about such an experience or take part in TV shows devoted to his imprisonment which would be actively discussed on the Internet.

5. Ernest Hemingway

“Always do sober what you said you’d do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.”

Interesting fact: Hemingway was not only an alcoholic and felo-de-se, as we all know. Ernest suffered from peyraphobia (a fear of public speaking); moreover, he never believed any praises even if they came from his sincerest readers and admirers. He did not believe his friends, either.

What he would do today: He could link this fear with the fact he is a simple introvert, and he would use that rampant fashion for introverts on the Internet, describing and writing about his phobias from a different point of you. Maybe he would become the most popular introvert in the world—who knows?

By the way, Ernest Hemingway often and willingly talked about the fact that the FBI spied on him. No one believed him, but eventually it turned out that he was right: Declassified documents confirmed that he was not paranoid.

6. Lewis Carroll

“I can’t go back to yesterday because I was a different person then.”

Interesting facts: He constantly repented some sin in his diaries; however, all these pages were destroyed by his family after his death because they did not want to denigrate his image. Some researchers seriously believe that Carroll could have been Jack the Ripper.

Lewis Carroll suffered from a swamp fewer, cystitis, lumbago, eczema, abrasions, arthritis, pleurisy, rheumatism, insomnia, and a big bunch of other diseases. In addition, he had strong and continuous headaches.

What he would do today: He would be imprisoned probably, or he would be treated in a number of different clinics.

7. Fyodor Dostoyevsky

“The cleverest of all, in my opinion, is the man who calls himself a fool at least once a month.”

Interesting fact: Dostoyevsky was a passionate gambler. In 1865, he had lost 3,000 gold rubles playing roulette; he was in need of money and spent 26 days writing his autobiographic novel The Gambler, which would become a classic of world literature.

What he would do today: He could write papers for students or sell his writings as a freelancer to get some money and repay the amount he had spent on casinos.

8. Franz Kafka

“The meaning of life is that it stops.”

Interesting fact: Kafka worked as a clerk and was lucky to publish a couple of small stories that were not popular among readers. Before his death, Franz bequeathed to destroy all his manuscripts but his executor, Max Brod, did not do that. So Franz Kafka had become a world-famous writer. Posthumously.

What he would do today: He would be typical office plankton: a nerd and a loser.

9. Arthur Conan Doyle

“There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.”

Interesting fact: In his stories about Sherlock Holmes, Mr. Doyle described many criminal methods unknown to the police. There was a gathering of cigarette ends and ashes, typewriter identification, and traces browsing through the glass among them. The police have been widely using these methods afterwards.

What he would do today: He could work as a criminal expert or do consulting work for the police, inventing various investigating methods or writing and describing the work of existing ones.

10. William Shakespeare

“The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.”

Interesting fact: Contemporaries claimed that Shakespeare was fond of poaching. He hunted deer in the lands of Sir Thomas Lucy without his permission.

What he would do today: He would be constantly fined for poaching, judged and arrested probably; or he could become a legal hunter and make this business his official profession. But we would probably hear nothing about his writing masterpieces.