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The Republic of Tweets - Olivia Rosane
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The Republic of Tweets - Olivia Rosane Presentation Transcript

  • 1. The Republic of TweetsInternet Literature as Post-Romantic PracticeByOlivia Rosane @orosane
  • 2. Critical Skeuomorphism“…moveable type comes in the late 15th century,but its another hundred years before you get toCervantes, Shakespeare and Montaigne…who havefound a way to use the new tool and bring to it artand high form of expression and I assume that wewill be doing the same kind of thing with whateverlanguage evolves out of the technology that we nowhave with the internet.” −−Lewis Lapham @orosane
  • 3. Print Lit Vs. Online LitLiterature in print and literature online emphasize differentthings and play different roles within their spheresPrint literature emphasizes the final product and the authorwho created itOnline literature emphasizes the writing process and thecommunity it was written by and forLiterature in print is held up as a superior form of printwriting; literature online is one of many kinds of writingcompeting for attention @orosane
  • 4. A Brief History of LiteratureThe following history draws from The Work of Writing:Literature and Social Change in Britain 1700-1830 by CliffordSiskinThrough the beginning of the 19th century, literature simplymeant a total collection of written texts; literary was asynonym for literateDuring the 18th century, writing as technology proliferated:Combined circulation of newspapers increased eight-foldbetween 1712 and 1757; English Short Title Catalogue (list ofworks published between 1453-1800, mainly in Britain andNorth America, and in English) jumped exponentially from1760-1800 @orosane
  • 5. @orosane
  • 6. History of Literature, Cont.Writers in the 18th century were shocked and disturbedby writing the way writers today are shocked anddisturbed by the internetPart of the solution was to create new categories tomanage the increase in writingOne such category was literature as we know it today:“the transcendent output of the human imagination—simply the best” (siskin 6) @orosane
  • 7. Literature as Romantic Creation The following draws from The Crisis of Literature in the 1790s by Paul Keen The Enlightenment viewed literature as a republic of letters; the goal of this republic was to reach the truth through debate, and use that truth to reform both public policy and individual morals This view was challenged by “the excesses of the French Revolution, on the one hand, and the information revolution, on the other”(Keen 8) Literature‟s shift in meaning was one proposed solution to the “crisis;” a product of the Romantic movement (1798-1830) that prized imagination and emotion over reason and favored contemplative writing about nature and the self @orosane
  • 8. Literature as Romantic Creation“The knowledge both of the Poet and the Man ofscience is pleasure; but the knowledge of the onecleaves to us as a necessary part of ourexistence, our natural and unalienable inheritance;the other is a personal and individualacquisition, slow to come to us, and by no habitualand direct sympathy connecting us with our fellow-beings.”—William Wordsworth, “Preface” to Lyrical Ballads @orosane
  • 9. Print Lit‟s Romantic Roots“[George Saunders‟ Fiction] makes youwiser, better, more disciplined in your openness to theexperience of other people” —Joel Lovell, “GeorgeSaunders Has Written the Best Book You‟ll Read ThisYear,” NYT, 3 Jan 2013Emphasizes the author as hero and book as finalachievement. One story, “Semplica Girl Diaries”, waspublished in the New Yorker in October, 2012, but this isburied in a paragraph leading with its placement in thebook @orosane
  • 10. Online Literature as Post- RomanticCreative writing online is not particularly valued overother kinds of online writingAll genres and subjects appear next to each other inTwitter feeds or key-word searchesWriters are less interesting than the technology they use @orosane
  • 11. Process over ProductTwitter Fiction Festival: of 25 festival selections… 6 welcomed audience participation 5 were collaborations between 2 or more authors 9 hid their authors behind fictional Twitter accounts 7 were linear works tweeted under the author‟s handle @orosane
  • 12. @orosane
  • 13. Literary Niche CommunitiesWattpad calls itself “the worlds largest community fordiscovering and sharing stories”Has 10 million readers monthlyOne of advertised perks for writers is ability to “collaboratewith readers and other writers”“I see it as encouraging reading and writing. You do hear alot that people arent going to read and write anymore, theyare just going to play video games. And if we dont encourageyoung readers and writers, we arent going to have olderones later”—Margaret Atwood @orosane
  • 14. Interacting SpheresThere is a sense that online writing isamateur, something to be discovered up out ofOn the other hand, there is resentment whenprofessional print writers enter the digital spherewithout learning the rulesFurther upsetting the hierarchy is the idea that soon theamateur, digital sphere will replace theprofessional, print sphere @orosane
  • 15. Concluding QuestionsWhat is the most helpful way to continue the criticalstudy of creative writing on the internet?How can we, as writers, help to write the future ofonline writing the way that Wordsworth helped to writethe future of print writing? Is this something we shouldbe doing?What would be the best direction online writing couldtake? The worst? @orosane
  • 16. Text Sources (in order of citation)Lapham, Lewis. “@Google Presents: Lewis Lapham, in conversation withRichard Gingras.” transcriptvids.com. 17 Sep. 2011. Web. 27 Feb. 2013.<http://transcriptvids.com/v/EzQYkTttj7k.html>.Siskin, Clifford. The Work of Writing: Literature and Social Change in Britain1700-1830. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 1998. Print.Keen, Paul. The Crisis of Literature in the 1790s: Print Culture and the PublicSphere. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999. Print.Wordsworth, William. “Preface to Lyrical Ballads.” Bartleby.com. Web. 27 Feb.2013. <http://www.bartleby.com/39/36.html>.Lovell, Joel. “George Saunders Has Written the Best Book You‟ll Read ThisYear.” New York Times Magazine. 3 Jan. 2013. Web. 27 Feb. 2013.<http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/06/magazine/george-saunders-just-wrote-the-best-book-youll-read-this-year.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0>. @orosane
  • 17. Text Sources Cont.Fitzgerald, Andrew. “Twitter Fiction Festival Selections.” Twitter Blog. 27 Nov. 2012. Web.27 Feb. 2013. <http://blog.twitter.com/2012/11/twitter-fiction-festival-selections.html>.“About Wattpad.” Wattpad. 2013. Web. 27 Feb. 2013. <http://www.wattpad.com/about>.Flood, Alison. “Margaret Atwood joins story-sharing website Wattpad.” The Guardian. 25Jun. 2012. Web. 27 Feb. 2013.<http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/jun/25/margaret-atwood-joins-wattpad>.McMillan, Graeme. “#TwitterFiction: Endless Possibilities in 140 Characters or Less.” Time.5 Dec. 2012. Web. 27 Feb. 2013.<http://entertainment.time.com/2012/12/05/twitterfiction-endless-possibilities-in-140-characters-or-less/>.Barber, John. “„There will be no more professional writers in the future.‟” The Globe andMail. 24 Jul. 2012. Web. 27 Feb. 2013. <http://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/books-and-media/there-will-be-no-more-professional-writers-in-the-future/article4441060/>. @orosane
  • 18. Image SourcesTbming. “Wholesale - black quill-pen shape stylus touchpen for Iphone 3 4 4s ipad 2 3 Samsung Sony tablet.”Photograph. DHgate.com. 2004-2013. Web. 27 Feb.2013. <http://www.dhgate.com/black-quill-pen-shape-stylus-touch-pen-for/p-ff80808139bf02410139c83a44aa42b0.html>.Simons, Olaf. “ESTC-Title-count-1600-1800”. WikimediaCommons. 29 Jan. 2009. Web. 27 Feb. 2013.<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:ESTC-Title-count-1600-1800.png>. @orosane