Great works are being shortened into 140-characters
Great works of literature are being shortened into 140-character ‘tweets’, in the latest diversion to grow out of the popular Twitter website. Classics by Charles Dickens, JD Sallinger and Jane Austen are among the novels to have been boiled down to a sentence by bookish readers of the micro-blogging site.
Whilst the haiku-like brevity of the synopses will appeal to modern readers more accustomed to skimming their emails than working through 600-word tome, literary purists may be put off by the internet slang. Tim Collins, a writer who has collected some of his own potted summaries in a new book, said that while the compositions are intended to be tongue-in-cheek the platform opens up new possibilities for art and education.
‘It's very easy to knock Twitter as something you use to tell the world what you ordered in Starbucks this morning, but it’s more than that,’ he said.
‘What it is really good for is live-blogging events as they take place, and that can work for historical events too. Over Easter a church in the US re-created the death and Resurrection of Christ through tweets’.
He said that the ‘hashtag’ feature of the site, which allows users to engage all their friends in a mass brainstorm, was particularly useful for creative collaboration. ‘Maybe we are only just beginning to appreciate the potential of Twitter as an art form,’ he said.
Some examples: Great Expectations charlesdickens: Orphan given £££ by secret follower. He thinks it’s @misshavisham but it turns out to be @magwitch
The Catcher in the Rye jdsalinger: Rich kid thinks everyone is fake except for his little sister. Has breakdown. @markchapman is now following @johnlennon
Pride and Prejudice janeaustin: Woman meets man called Darcy who seems horrible. He turns out to be nice really. They get together.
Bridget Jones’s Diary helenfielding: RT @janeaustin Woman meets man called Darcy who seems horrible. He turns out to be nice really. They get together.
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