A friend of mine gave me Twitterature by Alexander Aciman & Emmett Rensin and I read the entire book in one setting. Yes, it’s shticky and self-consciously so. But it’s also a lot of fun.
Aciman and Rensin play with the classics, retelling them through the medium of Twitter. Is it essential that you have read the original tales before you read the Twitter versions? No, but you’d probably get more out of the book if you have, because otherwise some of the jokes might be a bit difficult to get. Aciman and Rensin helpfully include a glossary (bromance, LOL, MILF, nose candy, and STFU are just a few of the terms that get defined) and an introduction to Twitter format, but they do not summarize the books they satirize, nor should they, since having a joke explained takes the humor out of it.
In one of my classes this semester, we used this book to look what it means to “translate” texts from one form to another (in this case, from a classic novel to Twitter) and then the students attempted to parrot Aciman and Rensin. It was enjoyable to read what they came up with too and to discuss what it means to update classics.
If you like, for example, Mel Brooks’ films, you’ll probably like Twitterature by Alexander Aciman & Emmett Rensin, but you’re also likely to find the joke wearying halfway through.
Midweek Notes from a Practicing Writer
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