At least, that’s what the question might be today. More and more frequently, we’re seeing a shift away from the traditional. People are writing books via smart phones, news information is being sent in the form of text messages, and there are more forms of social media than you can shake a stick at. What used to work just doesn’t anymore. Why should literary classics be any different?
College students Alexander Aciman and Emmett Rensin, both from the University of Chicago, assembled a book of Tweets based on classic reads. They call it Twitterature. Aciman and Rensin look at things from the character’s point of view, asking themselves what they would if they had nothing but an iPhone and a Twitter account. Whatever that is, they turn it into a satirical Tweet.
The object of the book was to create something that wasn’t so “out-of-date.” Tweets include Shakespeare and Dickens, among others. This Tweet comes from Dante’s Inferno: “I’m having a midlife crisis. Lost in the woods. Shoulda brought my iPhone.”
According to an article by Robyn Jackson, one in three high school graduates will never pick up another book. Less than 20 percent of families read and/or buy books these days. With just 20 tweets per book, Tweetable novels may not be a bad idea, but the book has received mixed reviews. Some people think it’s hilarious, witty even. Others think it’s insulting to the literary classics they grew up with.
So, what’s the verdict? To Tweet or not to Tweet?