[Humanist] 24.195 how sweetly tweet

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Fri Jul 16 22:09:22 CEST 2010

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 24, No. 195.
         Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

  [1]   From:    Jascha Kessler <urim1 at verizon.net>                       (158)
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 24.193 how sweetly tweet some more

  [2]   From:    renata lemos <me at renatalemos.org>                         (35)
        Subject: The Best Literary Criticism (of a Twitter Feed)

        Date: Tue, 13 Jul 2010 15:15:32 -0700
        From: Jascha Kessler <urim1 at verizon.net>
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 24.193 how sweetly tweet some more
        In-Reply-To: <20100713065455.759C758406 at woodward.joyent.us>

Perhaps my point was not made altogether clearly.  I was speaking of poetry,
not poems.  The Pound and Williams pieces are famous experiments in imagism,
which had a rather short run.  Imagism is something for the eye; these short
pieces are, well, call them aphoristic.  There are epigrams that may run to
a couplet, poems, yes; poetical, yes.  But ... poetry?  We too easily these
days of populist doggerel, not to say drivel, call anything poetry.  Poems
are not prose, if prosaic.  But again ... poetry?  I recommended the
discussion of making, and Eros in THE SYMPOSIUM.  Little skip-rope rhymes
and jingles are, well, poems; but again ... poetry.  I am still haunted by
my childhood indoctrination re pop: "Pepsi Cola hits the spot;/Twelve full
ounces, that's a lot;/Twice as much for a nickel too;/Pepsi Cola is the
drink for you!  [Twice as much as Coca Cola was the subtext, and in the
Depression, you went for Pepsi.]  The jingle was sung, but was it poetry?
 It is not a matter of Tweeted syllabics, rhymed or not.  If the God is not
present, in it or behind it, it may be a poem, or as Kipling put it, "
...but is it art?" ["The Conundrum of the Workshops"]  Usually, however, it
is prose, or what the poets used to call "typewriter poetry," meaning type
out words, hit return key, as a Keruoac did, on an endless roll of adding
machine paper.
Jascha Kessler

Jascha Kessler
Professor of English & Modern Literature, UCLA
Telephone/Facsimile: 310.393.4648

        Date: Wed, 14 Jul 2010 15:23:45 -0300
        From: renata lemos <me at renatalemos.org>
        Subject: The Best Literary Criticism (of a Twitter Feed)
        In-Reply-To: <20100713065455.759C758406 at woodward.joyent.us>

Slate's Nathan Heller has written a gorgeous and generous piece of literary
criticism. About two Twitter feeds.

Weighing in at over 2,000 perfectly chosen words, Heller's dissection of the
comic stylings of at CrankyKaplan  http://twitter.com/crankykaplan  and
@WiseKaplan  http://twitter.com/wise_kaplan , both roasty tributes to former
New York Observer editor Peter Kaplan, strikes me as a milestone for how we
view -- and write about -- what's possible on Twitter.

 "[T]he Kaplan dispatches offer one of the most entertaining and ambitious
uses of Twitter yet," Heller writes, explaining that the feeds are
co-written by Peter Stevenson, former Observer executive editor, and Jim
Windolf of Vanity Fair, who were Kaplan mentees in the early 90s.

Peter Kaplan is known to New York's newspaper readers as the man behind a
jaunty, impudent voice that shaped the *Observer* through the flush years of
the late '90s and on. Stevenson and Windolf, though, knew him as a boss,
mentor, and eccentric. The Twitter parodies were meant to be an inside joke.
Yet through their online comedy act, the journalists have nudged Twitter in
a new, more literary direction. Unlike contrived and headache-inducing
concepts like the "Twitter
novel http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/twitter_novels_not_big_success_stories.php "
or the serialized essay http://www.danbaum.com/Nine_Lives/New_Yorker_tweets.html --long
forms awkwardly broken into 140-character bits--the Kaplan narratives are
colorful, varied, and fully wedded to the medium.

 If you still don't think Twitter can be a platform for valuable things,
Heller might just change your mind. As for Kaplan, he doesn't seem to mind
the attention, and it hasn't hurt his career: Fairchild Fashion Group
announced that they've hired him as its new editorial
director http://www.wwd.com/media-news/fashion-memopad/peter-kaplan-to-join-fairchild-as-editorial-director-3182139 


renata lemos

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