Tweet, tweet, tweet, tweet .....

I have just got the latest issue of one of my favorite publications, the London Review of Books, which has an article by one of my favorite critics, Frank Kermode, on one of my favorite writers, Jane Austen.

I paused over the following sentence and admired how he kept it going right to the end ;-)

There is a question that is bound to exercise in different ways readers who rejoice that the critical fortunes of Jane Austen show no signs of failing, and those who wonder how it can be that these tales of idle ladies and gentlemen, their interests fixed on money, their language elegantly out of date, should not only be the adored subject of an enthusiastic cult, but can elicit the acclaim of scholars who count her among the greatest novelists in the language. [Too good and too silly - behind pay wall]

With spaces, this is approximately 465 characters. This single sentence would require four tweets to communicate ;-)

Comments: 4

Apr 29, 2009
Jorge

Isn't the point that Kermode was not 'tweetering'? Yes, the day may come when complex, elegant sentences like the one penned by your favourite critic come to be seen as outmoded (or as my daughter would say, 'random', meaning not unpredictable but ugly and unappealing).

When that day comes - and all around speak in NewSpeak or mini-sentences a-la Twitter (are they so different?) - I hope to be lying several feet under.

Apr 29, 2009
Lorcan Dempsey

I am very familiar with this use of 'random' as my own behavior at home attracts that description frequently ;-)

Yes, indeed, it would be a pity if we lost the ability to read or write complex, elegant sentences. ....

Apr 29, 2009
walt crawford

On the other hand, for what it's worth, it would fit nicely in FriendFeed's 140-word limit. (Or, for that matter, Facebook's similar limit.) FF still can't handle the kind of sustained argument that a good article (or blog post) can, but it can accommodate a long sentence. (I was going to say "complex," but there's nothing particularly complex about the elegant sentence you quote.)

May 01, 2009
Simon Day

This reminds me of John Cooper Clarke's Haiku




TO-CON-VEY ONE'S MOOD

IN SEV-EN-TEEN SYLL-ABLE-S

IS VE-RY DIF-FIC