Highly Conceptual Literary Halloween Costumes for 2016


Too literary and erudite to come up with a Halloween costume? Hate dressing up? Relish being a sneering jerk? Want to take off your horn-rimmed glasses and tweed blazer and cut loose on October 31? Never fear. To follow up our pop culture costume guide, we have some highly relevant, pertinent and au courant conceptual costume ideas. Almost no accessories required. All you need to do is show up to your favorite bookish Halloween gathering and follow our simple instructions. Marina Abramović has nothing on you, my friend.

1. Tell everyone at the party that they are boring and quite frankly, only get one star from you.

You’re an Amazon review!

2. Walk around the party telling everyone they look too relaxed and need to get back to work right away, no excuses.

You’re Amazon itself!

3. As you mingle with your fellow guests, talk about yourself in the third person, in a lightly edited version of the truth. (“Sarah Seltzer is eating shrimp,” you might say, as you munch crabcakes.)

You’re Karl Ove Knausgard, autofiction pioneer.

*A punnier option for this: Dress like a car from the waist up and a book from the waist down. Autofiction. Get it? Auto-fiction!

4. Wear a culturally appropriated piece of headgear and be a condescending, slightly racist jerk.

You’re Lionel Shriver. Just kidding, don’t do this. Seriously, don’t do this.

5. Don’t answer the party invitation, no matter how many times you’re asked to RSVP.

You’re Nobel Laureate Bob Dylan.

6. Walk around the party complaining about Baby Boomers ruining everything, lyrics not being literature, and no one reading your book, err, any good books anymore.

You’re a disgruntled Generation X novelist extremely mad about Nobel Laureate Bob Dylan.

7. Carry around a copy of The Art of the Deal and wear a nametag reading: “I’m Sorry.”

You’re repentant Trump ghostwriter Tony Schwartz.

And now, for some couples costumes:

8. Partner One stays at home and sends a long email response to the host explaining her decision to remain separate from her costume, while Partner Two arrives at the party and excitedly passes out a pamphlet explaining who Partner One is, and where she lives.

You’re Elena Ferrante and the journalist who doxxed her, Claudio Gatti!

9. Bring a pair of laptops and, if you so desire, thick-rimmed glasses. Sit across from each other typing and simpering and generally being self-satisfied. Pointedly refuse to eat meat — and glare at those who do.

You’re notable correspondents Jonathan Safran-Foer and Natalie Portman!

10. Scream at each other throughout the party. One of you repeat the phrase “safe space” over and over while the other yells “no, free speech.”

You’re today’s hot campus debate!

* Note: if you want to change this one around, you can just dredge up all the problems in your marriage and be an Edward Albee play.