How Twitter Changed Literature & Culture

How has Twitter changed the cultural and literary landscape aside from knowing what your friends had for lunch? For one thing, it has rescued the aphorism from our self-obsessed culture. 

What's the Latest Development?


It is only possible to have clear feelings toward Twitter if you are not on it, argue the editors of the literary magazine n+1. To tweet and re-tweet is to simultaneously involve yourself in a niche world of pedantic mediocrity and stimulating political revolution. One thing that is sure, however, is that it is not your parents' communication medium. "...Beckett wrote, in 1930, that it was every bit as illogical to expect tomorrow’s self to be gratified by today’s experience as it was to expect your hunger to vanish at the sight of your uncle eating a sandwich..." But to what extent has Twitter revolutionized literature?

What's the Big Idea?

That the Internet is a democratic and democratizing medium is perhaps banal at this point. The cheapness of publishing your work online has given writers a necessary public while the constraints of the medium, particularly if you're getting paid to write online, have created a contemporary style: "You won’t sound contemporary and for real unless it sounds like you’re writing off the top of your head. ...and soon, if not yet already, it will seem pretentious, elitist, and old-fashioned to write anything, anywhere, with patience and care." As a literary tool, Twitter has also helped revived the aphorism from our self-obsessed culture. 

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

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