Sunday, March 29, 2009

Twitter Lit

Too busy to read a novel?  Try a short story.  Too busy to read a short story?  Try Twitter.  Seriously.  According to the Globe and Mail, some fiction writers have discovered Twitter and are writing Twitter fiction.  Yes, fiction limited to 140 characters.  I can see the SAT question now:  As poetry is to Haiku, short story is to:  (a) Twitter, (b) the novel, (c) graphic novels or (d) newspapers.

Take Canadian writer Arjun Basu:

Given the 140-character limit, Basu manages to evoke a surprising range of moods in his micro-stories. Some are wry: "The lawn reminds me of my fourth wife; feral but sort of beautiful. The grass needs cutting, my son says. Oh, it needs more than that, I say" (Basu occasionally squeezes out an extra character by dropping the final period). Many hint at loss: "They argued the merits of Roxy Music until they realized they were both old. All our tunes are commercials for unglamorous things, Joe said." And some are sheer fun: "The kid says yay I don't have to do anything today. The dad says why not? The kid says my teacher said so. She said it's the idles of March."

Here, read him yourself at twitter.com/arjunbasu.  I liked this one:

He stepped into the shower to wash the day away. And then the phone rang. He got out, tracking water. And smashed the phone against the wall