Great works of literature get the Twitter redux

Filed as News on May 12, 2009 4:30 pm

Purists will likely raise their hands and emit anguished cries at the news that classic novels from such literary greats as Dickens, Sallinger and Austen have been reduced to tweets.

The Telegraph interviews writer Tim Collins who has collected some potted summaries of classic novels. His compilation is supposed to be taken lightly, but he does believe that Twitter really comes into its own when it’s used for logging real-time events:

“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.

“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 also extolled the use of hashtags for group brainstorming.

Some examples of “Twitterature” (I just made that up, can you tell?):

Ulysses: jamesjoyce: Man walks around Dublin. We follow every minute detail of his day. He’s probably overtweeting.

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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  1. By Saurabh Bhattacharyya posted on May 12, 2009 at 9:45 pm
    Want an avatar? Get a gravatar! • You can link to this comment

    One aspect of ‘twitterature’ could be that a course of ‘History of English Twitterature’ can be taught through text messages or through Twitter itself.


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