The Brave New World of Twitterature

Hathaway as Austen engaged in the social media of her time

For a humorous change of pace, here are some tweets from a book written by two precocious students (Alexander Aciman and Emmett Rensi) when they were 19-year-olds at the University of Chicago. The book is entitled Twitterature: The World’s Greatest Books in Twenty Tweets or Less.

Some of the tweets are very witty, others are less so, and all of them indirectly make the point (if you think the point needs making) that literature cannot be surpassed by modern social media. Enjoy:

Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert

Bof I despise my mari‘s provincialism. Give me glitter et amour. “Tu es too high maintenance,” said Leon et Rodolphe. Alors I kill moi-meme.

Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen

“Good day Miss Bennet.” “Good day Mr Darcy.” “Goodbye Miss Bennet.” “Goodbye Mr Darcy.” Will they, won’t they? Duh! Of course they will.

Howards End – E. M. Forster

“We lost your money, Bast,” Helen wept. “Have a pity shag.” “And I forgive Mr Wilcox his dalliance,” said Margaret. Modernity is so tiring.

In Search of Lost Time – Marcel Proust

I really don’t feel at all well. I can hardly get out of bed. Do you remember that smell of the madeleine? Those were the days, eh?

The Trial – Franz Kafka

It’s a stitch-up, I tell you. They’re out to get me. I’m not paranoid. Come in Mr K you’re time is up. Oh shit, I’m guilty of something.

Metamorphosis – Kafka

I seem to have been transformed into a large bug. Has this ever happened to any of you? No solution on Web MD.

Catcher in the Rye – J. D. Salinger

On a date with a girl I don’t care about. So bizarre that nature makes me do such funny, contradictory things. Hypocrisy to the max. Deep.

Paradise Lost  – John Milton

I’m bored. I’m the chairman of the board. My compatriots are r-tards. Inaction? Is that the best we can do? We art fucking demons!

Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck

“Aw, Lennie. First you squash the mouse and now you’ve gone and squashed the girl. I’m gonna have to kill you.” “What about the rabbits?”

This entry was posted in Austen (Jane), Flaubert (Gustave), Forster (E.M.), Kafka (Franz), Milton (John), Proust (Marcel), Salinger (J. D.), Steinbeck (John) and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.
  • http://johnewordslinger.wordpress.com John E WordSlinger

    Good Morning Mr. Bates,

    I agree that literature cannot be surpassed by modern social media, or any thing, lol…
    This makes me think of Bobby Day, and his song Rockin Robin in so many ways… lol

    Rockin’ Robin by Bobby Day

    He rocks in the tree-top all a day long
    Hoppin’ and a-boppin’ and a-singin’ the song
    All the little birds on J-Bird St.
    Love to hear the robin goin’ tweet tweet tweet

    Rockin’ robin (tweet tweet tweet)
    Rockin’ robin (tweet tweet tweet)
    Oh rockin’ robin well you really gonna rock tonight

    Every little swallow, every chickadee
    Every little bird in the tall oak tree
    The wise old owl, the big black crow
    Flapping them wings sayin’ go bird go

    A wordy little raven at the bird’s first dance
    Taught him how to do the bop and it was grand
    He started goin’ steady and bless my soul
    He out popped the buzzard and the oriole

    He rocks in the tree-top all a day long
    Hoppin’ and a-boppin’ and a-singin’ the song
    All the little birds on J-Bird St.
    Love to hear the robin goin’ tweet tweet tweet

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUKTgIK8DxA

    Good Day- N’ Rock on Robin…

  • Jason

    I’m sure everybody knows the Woody Allen quip:
    “I took the speed reading course and read ‘War and Peace’ in twenty minutes. It’s about Russia.”

    Years ago, I read some very similar not-yet-tweets (sp.?) in “National Lampoon.” The gag was to reduce Cliff’s Notes to the absolute minimum. From memory:

    “The Old Man and the Sea: a guy tries hard to catch a fish.”
    “Hamlet: a guy can’t get over mom.”

  • Robin Bates

    I didn’t know these ones, Jason, but they’re wonderful. And also a reminder that literature is always about the journey through the work, not the plot. It’s through immersion that transformation occurs.


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