There is a discussion taking place tonight at The Book Cellar conducted by Alexander Aciman and Emmitt Rensin University of Chicago students and creatures of Twitterature, a collection of hypothetical “tweets” that reduce classic pieces of literature into an assembly of average-length Twitter updates. There collection is based on humor and almost highlights the absurdity of the format as a literary tool, but there are others that see Twitter as a potential publishing platform.
We all know that Twitter is a suitable micro-blogging format, a way spread the word, and also a way to groof around, but a publishing platform? Well, in the last year I have seen a couple attempts to publish works of fiction through custom twitter accounts, but perhaps none have been as ambitious as Jason Pettus and his Chicago Center for Literature and Photography. Not yet ready to lunch, Pettus is slowly putting the word out about what he is calling “kind of uber-short serial publishing”. I see it more as an experiment in new media that is executed properly could be quite affective. Imagine receiving a tweet an hour from CCLaP that contains a new piece of a story that will take you a day or maybe several days to read. What is unique is that Pettus is asking for stories that are a composite of many tweets and not a story chopped up into tweets. Each tweet will stand on its own as well as being a part of something larger. After the story runs through the cycle on twitter it will be complied in to a digital release that will be downloadable as a PDF or EPUB.
So, twitter as a publishing platform? Pettus says yes, and we await his lofty tweets. Don’t forget to stop by The Book Cellar tonight at 7:00pm and toss around your 140 charaters.