Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Twitterature by Alexander Aciman & Emmett Rensin

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.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

The things I want to know are in books; my best friend is the man who'll get me a book I ain't read. Recipes For Yeast Free Diet

Trades Show Displays Richmond said...

As far as modern writing is concerned, it is rarely rewarding to translate it, although it might be easy. Translation is very much like copying paintings.

crane hire said...

I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.

Houses for Rent said...

Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions which differ from the prejudices of their social environment. Most people are even incapable of forming such opinions.

B.J. Epstein said...

I know how you feel, Crane Hire! I do like documentaries and the like, but much of what is shown on tv is ridiculous and vapid!

Best wishes,
BJ

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