Literary classics given Twitter treatment

LONDON - Literary classics from Samuel Beckett, Charles Dickens and Jane Austen have gotten the 140-character Twitter treatment in a new "survival guide" for the microblogging website being published this week.

Favouring brevity over character arcs and engaging dialogue, Twitter users have been boiling down classic novels to a Tweet-sized 140-characters or less.

For example, Beckett's 'Waiting for Godot' is surmised to: "Vladimir and Estragon stand next to tree and wait for Godot. Their status is not updated."

Or James Joyce's epic 'Ulysses' reads: "Man walks around Dublin. We follow every minute detail of his day. He's probably overtweeting."

The user-created Tweets are included a new Twitter survival guide being published in the UK next month by author Tim Collins.

Other examples include Jane Austen's 'Pride and Prejudice', Tweeted as: "Woman meets man called Darcy who seems horrible. He turns out to be nice really. They get together."

Followed by Helen('Bridget Jones') Fieldings Retweet: "RT @janeaustin Woman meets man called Darcy who seems horrible. He turns out to be nice really. They get together."

JD Salinger's 'Catcher in the Rye' is boiled down as: "Rich kid thinks everyone is fake except for his little sister. Has breakdown. @markchapman is now following @johnlennon"

Collins says the Tweets are intended to be tongue-in-cheek, but show how Twitter is opening up "new possibilities for art and education".

Some more examples:

Charles Dickens' 'Great Expectations': "Orphan given £££ by secret follower. He thinks it's @misshavisham but it turns out to be @magwitch"

DH Lawrence's 'Lady Chatterly's Lover': "Upper-class woman gets it on with gamekeeper."

Chaucer's 'Canterbury Tales': "Pilgrims tell each other stories while walking from London to Canterbury. Includes fart jokes. LOL!"

Become a member of Campaign from just £88 a quarter

Get the very latest news and insight from Campaign with unrestricted access to, plus get exclusive discounts to Campaign events.

Become a member

What is Campaign AI?

Our new premium service offering bespoke monitoring reports for your company.

Find out more

Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an alert now

Partner content