Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Back to Materiality: The Poetry of Tight Places and Small Screens

So, how shall we begin our class discussion regarding materiality? I've got a Twitter account, and that's a good place to start. If you don't know Twitter, you should--at least for this class of ours.

So, what are the material concerns of writing in tweets? Are they similar to, say, writing haiku? Is there an art to them? a form (other than character limitation)? a governing rhetorical principle? Or, are tweets governed by the same principles I've trotted out in our Rhetorical Analysis wiki page?

And, oh, as you are thinking about thinking about that, don't forget to consider the broadcast and filter engines Twitter uses--how you can aim a tweet at a particular individual or group and how you can filter what you read. These, too, surely impact or issue from the material reality of Twitter.

BTW: as an English professor, the very notion of getting my word on in 140 characters should pain me--shouldn't it? Instead, it delights me. It delights the poet in me. It delights the 21st century me--the one who is tugged in ten thousand directions every day.

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