Is Twitter the Newest Form of Literature? | Idea Channel | PBS Digital Studios

here's an idea the tweet is the newest form of literature ah Twitter everyone's favorite micro blogging platform a place where the social media elite can trade links to obscure or you can read what your former co-workers girlfriend had for lunch where you can profess your undying love through the Biebs and where you can become involved in a nascent and highly constrained brand of literary experimentation yes I know it sounds a little weird but think about it if you use Twitter you've probably agonized over the construction of a tweet you can't just say whatever you want and go all willy-nilly with your character count there are rules here well actually there's kind of only one rule Twitter's 140 character limit forces you to be creative in your tweet construction each time mark made advances towards Murray she'd immediately pretend she was asleep this made for aqua office matches the relationship between constraint and creativity is like peanut butter and jelly like toejam and Earl like John Woo and Doug's self-imposed technologically determined or culturally developed constraint is oftentimes the very basis of creativity filmmaker Orson Welles even said that the absence of limitation is the enemy of art the sonnet still life ballet the Sonata are all forms which are based on essentially arbitrary rules a perfect simple and practical expression of artistic constraint is the Haiku which when you think about it actually has a lot in common with the tweet both our social forms meant to provide insight and be shared both are meant to stand alone independently of other haikus or tweets they have extreme limitations placed upon their length and the best examples of each have a kind of turn that offers the reader a compelling insight and haiku it's called qiraji a place of emphasis which outlines the structure of the poem and where disparate ideas often come together how cool the feeling of a wall against the feet siesta we don't really have an equivalent to the qiraji in english but some of the best tweet makers use arguably a very similar construction work finally begins when the fear of doing nothing X seeds the fear of doing it badly one day Justin Bieber will turn 40 and we'll all go I can't believe Justin Bieber is 40 except some of us will be dead but Twitter isn't the only place that writers are experimenting with creative constraints online oh no no with so many little text entry boxes ready for creative expression status update literature is a perfectly modern format available to anyone to both create and to read respected author Rick moody wrote a story on Twitter about a date to Coney Island there has already been a Facebook novel not a novel about Facebook but a novel written using place there is even a gchat status novel in the works sure it's easy to challenge the legitimacy of a story constructed in something as seemingly fleeting as a set of status updates but as poet William Carlos Williams said poetry is a machine pruned to a perfect economy and that's double extra true when you only have a hundred forty characters or less what do you guys think can you write Twitter literature or Twitter ature let us know in the comments and if you like clicking buttons that there's a really good one right here you should click please subscribe Holi flourish nit the bronies episode was by far our most commented episode so first of all 25,000 subscribers that is insane thank you and welcome bronies let's see what you guys had to say Athea and a group of up voters wanted us to get some brohoof action going so ready here it is broken the 101 makes a point that people might not dislike bronies because they're challenging masculinity but because they're really effusive about their love of my little pony which is a fair point in case you haven't already checked them out there are really great discussions about the brony community on both Equestria Daily and no Meem will place some links in the description body 1980 quotes Miyazaki who said in order to grow your audience you must betray their expectations love it Trey boy brings up a very relevant xkcd comic but then again when isn't xkcd Road internal chaos bringer actually has some really good advice for pretty much everyone he says it's okay to not like things just don't be a dick about the things you don't like professed brony Joe M double O 7 is concerned that we have maybe dragged him into a battle that he's not prepared to fight which is fair but fortunately Joe you can't really stand still on a moving train one thing that we didn't get to talk about is the female contingent of bronies called pegasisters shadow Yoshi gamer nerds a pegasister chimes in and says that she doesn't think bronies are changing what is considered manly but rather what defines a man which is nuanced but really interesting and in case you guys haven't noticed we'll see you next week because you're awesome

28 thoughts on “Is Twitter the Newest Form of Literature? | Idea Channel | PBS Digital Studios

  1. If you're watching in 2199 then where all stupid back in this time and poop is our religion and foot ball is war soccer is foot ball but it isn't

  2. Actually in terms of the English lexicon, the 'volta' in a Sonnet functions similarly to a Kireji, as a 'turn' about which the perceived meaning of the poem changes. I guess a defined turn is just a natural story telling technique for many forms.

  3. I like to watch old videos and the person points to the top for the subscribe button, makes me remember the good ol days.

  4. I am not through your library yet, but would be interested in the impact trump has had on the perception of twitter.

  5. i would go so far as to say it represents the future of literature. our consumption habits are changing because of the internet. feed scrolling has re-oriented us towards skimming and parsing rather than reading and contemplating. the novel is dead and we must replace it with the instant, ephemeral, easily digestible yet informationally dense: the tweet.

  6. I hope people in the comments have talked about the wealth of Twitter fiction "magazines," some of them paying markets (and many existing well before this video). I sold some twitterfic back in the day.

  7. was this episode before or after it became popular for youtube shows to use tweets for Trans media?

  8. I have had an identical argument with my university lecturer on this subject and I cannot call twitter posts literature. Literature typically seems to embody the epoch or period it was written in or reject the period it was written in regarding societal, philosophical or hegenomous ideals, but twitter posts do not. They are 99% concerned with self-serving attempts to install ourselves into the fabric of eternity… basically cheat/ignore death by living forever on the internet. Twitter posts have no higher goal and do not seek to raise our consciousness. They make no attempts to either conform, inform or purposefully and demonstrably break away from the literary movement/landscape they are created in.

    But since we live in a post-moderist ideological landscape we cannot reject absurdity anymore. We must simultaneously accept that twitter is literature, yet ignore the fact that no such arguments have ever been made about precursor sites like myspace or bebo.

    Here is the truth: if the post-modernists win and this becomes literature, then academic institutions become null and void. We would not need academia to extol the philosophies and merits of literature because these values are myths and simply aren't relevant in the face of a generation that can anoint its own literary canon. When libraries become usb sticks packed with tweets, what happens to the progression of the human mind? How do we move forward from a fundamentally flawed and reductionist philosophy?

    The question is not 'Is twitter literature?', the question must be 'how can we as intellectually honest beings let twitter destroy literature?'

  9. Even if this is a niche community, I'd love to hear your thoughts on Twitter Role Play as far as a literary standpoint

  10. There is actually a book called twitterature. I read it a few years back and enjoyed it a lot. It was popular literature some classic and some modern written in the form of tweets

  11. Nintendo tried it too but then they saw how stupid and annoying it was and changest it.

  12. this is what I have thought already!It IS new form of literature

  13. I have been looking for Rick Moore's twitter novella for weeks but could not remember the title or the author. Thank you so much! There was a nice reading on selected shorts:

  14. Realize Twitter
    is the New Form of Haiku; 
    Idea Channel 

    he Quickly Googles.
    Mike has Already thought This.
    Don't know how to feel.

  15. Okay, hold up. Just to note, 'pegasisters' never really 'got of the ground' as a term for female bronies (probably because there are three horse subspecies in the show, not just pegasi). Also, connecting Twitter to haiku makes sense; I guess if haiku somehow became a popular form of communication, we'd end up with a lot of very lousy ones, too.

  16. Art is about being creative, there may be limits, but there are no limits in terms of what those limits can be. I consider role playing a form of literature since you're making up a story, even if you're not doing it alone. I can imagine a reality TV style novel being written by different authors playing characters who use the different social media and it doesn't even have to be all that realistic, it could be about something totally scifi or magical that happening in our world, expressed by the authors via the media… that would be pretty cool. Makes me want to go try it out. XD

  17. Quite the opposite. So… THIS: ermahgerd iamjqsb trololoLololol!!!!1!! – is literature now? I don't want live on this planet anymore.

  18. Literature is a collection of words and sentences (proza, poetry, stories) so it could be literature. But very dumb and sensless literature.

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