I never thought classics could be so funny. And I never thought I would appreciate Twilight so much.
Twitterature is exactly what you think it is when you first hear the word: literature via Twitter. Imagine some of your favourite classics (and some less favourite ones that made you sweat in class): The Catcher in the Rye, Macbeth, The Iliad, The Three Musketeers. Now strip them of all the extra fluff, and image these stories told with only the bare essentials – as well as in 20 tweets of 140 characters or less. It gives for some hilarious results.
There are also a couple of contemporary titles. Believe it or not, the seven books of the Harry Potter series were tweeted in 20 tweets. Yes, you read that right – all seven, in 20 tweets. It wasn’t one of the best efforts in the book, though for a diehard Potter fan such as myself, it did make me smile a couple of times as I read @NotoriousHP tweets.
There were surprisingly deep reflections summed up in some of the 140 character or less tweets. For example, another contemporary title included in Twitterature was Stephenie Meyers’ Twilight, as tweeted by @TheSecondSexist, in which this one tweet stood out: “@YoungGirls: If a guy is hot enough, it’s OK if he’s also a blood-sucking creep. Completely subordinate yourself and accommodate him. Worth it.”
Fortunately, Twilight is as low as the authors went on the ‘quality of writing scale’. Another contemporary title is Ender’s Game, which concludes with this tweet: “The only way to repent for my crime is to tell the aliens’ story. I will become the tweeter for the dead. Also, I finally hit puberty.”
In more classic literature, we have The Three Musketeers, which starts off with this gem: “It’s time to go off into the world and follow my secondary dream and become a Musketeer. Apparently Jedis don’t actually exist”. @AliceInTheSkyWithDiamonds tweets: “At a tea party with a crackhead hat man. He’s a schizoid. Insanity is part of his public image. After all, he put ‘mad’ in his name”.
What’s a little sad about this book is that it often feels like a lot of potential was lost as some of the tweets seemed almost harried and put together quickly by people with only a superficial knowledge of the books in question. It thankfully still came up to an interesting read, and hopefully a second Twitterature of better quality will soon follow.