Posted in Uncategorized, tagged Censortive, Fabrice Colin, Festival, fiction, flash fiction, Jennifer Schuessler, Jennifer Wilson, Lauren Beukes, literature, litmash, poetry, twitter, twitterature on December 7, 2012 |
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It took me a while to get into twitter, but I’m hooked now. In fact, some readers of this blog follow me by way of @LunaStellaBlog1 instead of signing up for e-mails. (Luna & Stella is Suzanne’s company.)
The abortive revolution in Iran showed me the power of twitter and was a turning point for me. I still know the date by heart, June 20, 2009. If you searched on #Iran, the tweets came so fast with offers of new servers when sites were blocked in Iran, with up-to-the-minute photos and recordings, with citizens getting the word out that I got hundreds of tweets per minute and the U.S. president had to ask twitter not to do maintenance one night because it was a critical time of day in Iran.
Now I learn a completely different thing about twitter. It seems that people have been writing fiction in 140-character bites and that the practice has matured to the extent that twitter fiction is ready for a festival.
Writes Jennifer Schuessler at the NY Times, “The participants, some two dozen published and neophyte authors from five continents chosen by a panel of American publishing insiders, are posting in five different languages, often with input solicited from readers. The Iowa-based writer Jennifer Wilson is posting photographs of gravestones and then writing ‘flash fiction’ in response to epitaphs submitted by followers. The South African author Lauren Beukes is writing mashups, gathered under the hashtag #LitMash, based on ‘incongruous suggestions (the weirder the better!),’ according to the festival’s showcase page.
“The French fantasy novelist Fabrice Colin is writing a serialized story of five strangers trapped on a bus. And an anonymous Chinese author is contributing ‘Censortive,’ a story exploring the limits of free speech in the People’s Republic, tweeted out in a series of late-night installments.” Read more here.
It’s not War and Peace, of course.
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I remember trying some years ago to persuade a certain lobster fisherman I know that fiction has value. A recent Boston Sunday Globe article has left me feeling validated.
Washington & Jefferson College’s Jonathan Gottschall writes, “Fiction seems to be more effective at changing beliefs than nonfiction, which is designed to persuade through argument and evidence. Studies show that when we read nonfiction, we read with our shields up. We are critical and skeptical. But when we are absorbed in a story, we drop our intellectual guard. We are moved emotionally, and this seems to make us rubbery and easy to shape. But perhaps the most impressive finding is just how fiction shapes us: mainly for the better, not for the worse. Fiction enhances our ability to understand other people; it promotes a deep morality that cuts across religious and political creeds.”
Read more here.
As Dickens said in Hard Times, it’s important to make room for Queen Mab among all the hard facts.
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