Twitterature: A New Book and A Literary Guessing Game

Have you ever been reading a classical work of literature and thought to yourself, “What exactly is going on in this character’s head? Why must they jabber on in Shakespearean/18th Century/lyrical language? Why can’t they just talk to me in normal speak, that is, let me know what’s what in 140 characters or less?” Well, now they can.

Welcome to the future: Twitterature: The World’s Greatest Books in Twenty Tweets or Less, a book of “humorous reworkings of literary classics for the twenty-first-century intellect,” is due out later this month. We all knew this would happen some day, but not everyone is pleased: The Wall Street Journal responded, “Do you hear that? It’s the sound of Shakespeare, rolling over in his grave,” and Twitter user @damig tweeted, “Twitterature makes me want to punch someone, preferably the ‘authors.'” Yeah. Sorry buddy, but we think your medium undermines your message.

We at Flavorpill find this collection of literary classics imagined as strings of tweets pretty hilarious, if not exactly the direction we hope the English language is going. So just for fun, let’s play a game. We’ll give you some of our favorite sample tweets — but you guess the book. We’ll throw in the character’s Twitter handle for an extra clue. Be prepared: some will be easy, but others will only be solvable by the true literary snobs among you!

Have at:

1. @OedipusGothplex

WTF IS POLONIUS DOING BEHIND THE CURTAIN???

Literary Work: Hamlet

2. @NotoriousHP

Snape a douche! Dumbledore a wise man (but maybe gay?). Voldemort tried to kill me! Flying broomstick! Battle over magic crack-rock!

Literary Work: Harry Potter (duh)

3. @BigMAC

Shit. ‘C-Section’ is not ‘of woman born’? What kind of king dies on a goddamn technicality?
Literary Work: Macbeth

4. @bugged-out

This is so weird. I read that this kind of thing usually reflects a deep disgust and discomfort with one’s body. Is this true? Ana/Mia/bug??
Literary Work: The Metamorphosis

5. @CatholicGuilt

WTF!! A FUCKING ALBINO!! My cushy tenure at Harvard did NOT prepare me for all this action!!!
Literary Work: The Da Vinci Code

6. @GawainsWorld

I had it coming. ‘Yeah Gawain, come over, we’ll have a good time, open some champagne, have some ham, it’ll be fun.’ Arthur, you prick.
Literary Work: Gawain and the Green Knight

7. @DeadFlowers

Note from Ezra Pound: Maybe cut 75%?
Literary Work: The Wasteland

8. @IthacaOnMyMind

@TheTemptations: Nice song girls, but we can’t stop!

@MyMen: Tie me tighter, hurry!
Literary Work: The Odyssey

9. @IAmWithSam

Playing cards all day. The rancher’s son is an asshole, but his wife is a pretty swell gal. Also a bit of a party girl.
Literary Work: Of Mice and Men

10. @BattleFool

Has anyone ever committed genocide by accident? Long story shot: there goes my sanity. Finally. Thanks, military-industrial complex.

Literary Work: Ender’s Game

11. @TheSecondSexist

He says he’s part of a no-killing-humans club. I hope he’s not just saying this to get me into bed.
Literary Work: Twilight

12. @HighwayToHell

Shit. I should have seen this coming. Buyer’s remorse! Buyer’s remorse!
Literary Work: Dr. Faustus

13. @FirstThoughtBestThought

Oh shit, some rich young gentlemen just showed up. Score!
Literary Work: Pride and Prejudice

Twitterature hits US stores December 29th — to pre-order or for more info, peep the website — and if you happen to be reading this from Chicago, authors Alex and Emmett will be doing a couple events in the area (being sophomores at the University of Chicago): Tuesday, January 19, 6:00 PM @ 57th Street Books and Thursday, January 21, 7:00 PM @ The Book Cellar.