Would Jane Austen Tweet?

Aside from singer Roseanne Cash’s creation of the Twitter hashtag #JaneAustenAtTheSuperBowl, it’s unlikely that Jane herself would become addicted to the social media – but then, we’ll never know.  After enumerating the literary feuds famous writers verbally carry on, Jennifer Schuessler in her article for the New York Times, “In Book Circles, a Taming of the Feud,” dissects the Twitter campaigns that novelists wield against each other.

Can you be a fan of Jennifer Weiner and Jodi Picoult, if you know they have been carrying on a Twitter campaign against Jonathan Franzen under the hashtag #Franzenfreude?  Even when you know Franzen is the better writer, Weiner and Picoult books offer a different emotional release that readers need now and then – don’t they know this?  On the other hand, Jennifer Egan, Pulitzer Prize winner, seems a little catty criticizing the chicklit genre in her tweets.   Even a healthy eater needs chocolate now and then.

Eleanor Lipman sent me an email asking me to follow her twitter feed, as she posts a poem a day:

Starting today, I’m tweeting one poem per day (140 characters, natch) of a (partisan) political nature, from now until the 2012 election. They will be rhyming couplets, and, I hope, entertaining.

I discovered I could google “Elinor Lipman twitter” and get to her tweets without joining the ubiquitous network.

Why tweet?  Is it the electronic version of the haiku that can have as many letters as you can fit into 26 words?  Could anyone compete with an Ogden Nash limerick?  In her article, Schuessler says today’s tweeters require that “you don’t think about what you’re saying.”

I have not yet succumbed to the power of the tweet.  For the most part, it’s too hard to limit my idea to 140 characters – does that include commas?  If I did, I might tweet:

 If U want 2 know whatever pops into my head – what I think about anything – and U want my  insights/suggestions, even if I don’t know what I’m talking about -here is my advice

Oops – no more characters left.   Do you tweet?

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8 thoughts on “Would Jane Austen Tweet?

  1. Lucybird

    I do tweet. I didn’t for a long time, I resisted you could say. I joined up after Armchair BEA after I saw a lot of people recommending it. I only really use it for book blog related things (although occasionally a more personal tweet will pop up), and my blog posts automatically get linked on there, more people follow me on twitter than on google reader, so I like to think it puts other people in contact with my blog. It’s quite good for throwing around ideas and talking to other bloggers too.

    As it happens my blog posts get posted on my facebook too, but only people I know in ‘real life’ have access to that.

    1. Lucybird

      Oh and I happen to follow Picoult and had no idea about her attack on Frazen (who I haven’t read but still putting down any other author is low).

    2. RFW Post author

      How do your blog posts work on twitter’s 140 character limit? Is it automatically abridged or do you have a special post just for twitter?

  2. Kate

    I am not a tweeter, nor do I Facebook. However, I do wonder every month if I’m getting left further behind, and if, as a communications person, I actually need to be using these things to ‘get myself out there’. I haven’t been convinced yet, as to me both of those tools are more gossipy than my beloved blogs. Of course that is just my perception, and I’m sure there are many interesting and useful ways to make FB and twitter work well.

    1. RFW Post author

      I agree with you, but I did join facebook just so I could play Scrabble and Word Twist – mostly with myself 🙂

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