What is Twitterature?
In 2009, two young University of Chicago students, Alexander Aciman and Emmett Rensin, wrote a book entitled “twitterature”, a term they coined and which they defined as being an “amalgation of ‘twitter’ and ‘literature’; humorous reworkings of literary classics for the 21st century intellect, in digestible portions of 20 tweets or fewer”.
They turned 76 classic texts into twitterature, most pieces narrated by the main character of the original text but adapted to the twitter world. This is what they thought Hamlet, Dante or Oedipus could have tweeted:
From Hamlet: WTF IS POLONIUS DOING BEHIND THE CURTAIN???
From Dante’s Inferno: I’m havin a midlife crisis. Lost in the woods. Shoulda brought my iPhone.
From Oedipus: PARTY IN THEBES!!! Nobody cares I killed that old dude, plus this woman is all over me. Total MILF.
However, those were never published on Twitter which I find very disappointing since it defeats the purpose and the magic of twitterature.
According to the online Urban Dictionary, “Twitterature” is a noun used to describe a “written work (or body of works) of a particularly humorous, clever, and/or poignant nature, and artfully stated in 140 characters or less”, i.e. which can be tweeted on Twitter in the given maximum number of 140 characters.
In French and according to the Institute of compared twitterature (Institut de twittérature comparée, Bordeaux-Québec), it is the “ensemble des textes littéraires publiés dans Twitter sous forme de gazouilllis”.
It is a new way of writing, with new constraints, new spellings, new codes. A twitter haïku movement is born. And anybody can enter the twitterature sphere. Continue reading