‘How do we write when we write online?1’ is the question asked by the first item on this list and by the list as a whole. We write a lot online; that’s for sure. Of course, there are discussions about the mobile phone destroying our sense of grammar, about image-biased media overturning the craft of writing, whether moving or not, and about whole populations no longer able to read books or, for that matter, anything over a thousand words.
Still, written language is very much alive on the internet, and day in day out, we write hundreds of words on Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Twitter, and so on. What does this do to the kind of language with a deep interest in language – namely the language of literature? The web must have some effect on literary writing, right? Literary writing is bound to transform in a digital context, no? Below, I’ve collected what I consider the best writing on online (literary) writing. It’s not about e-books, digital narratives or science fiction; it’s about good old Literature as found in that sphere of a medium: the Internet.
How Do We Write When We Write Online?1
More of a project than an article, with many people trying to answer the question (and others) stated in the title – interesting, full of ideas, and fun to navigate.
Florian Cramer applies the notion of the post-digital to the art of writing, paying specific attention to historical context, other art forms, and cultural trends.
One of a series of intriguing short stories published in Dutch by De Revisor literary magazine. An example of how a story posted on the web can use the logic of the same web to destroy the logic of a web – as literature is supposed to do.
Still, the finest example of Twitter fiction I have ever seen. Instalment after instalment, Jennifer Egan takes the 140-character limit to its ultimate intensity. A short story to make you shiver in delight.
De wrede ezel5
This story eventually became a novel-length saga about a veterinarian and is a high point of Dutch internet-informed literature.
My Life Is a Joke6
Another web-savvy though creepy short story by a writer who elevates the blogging experience to a high art.
Poet Maarten van der Graaff wrote his blog for some time before publishing a poetry collection with a regular publisher. Older versions of his poems –influenced by online culture – are still online.
Tirade, a Dutch literary magazine, has been a blog for a couple of years now. The Sunday guest blog offers upcoming writers a chance to work on a short series of blogs and is especially a treat. The website, however, could do with an update (please do!).
Een kleine biologische banaan: fonofilia in 12 scènes9
Not sure whether I can include my own essay, but, since it to adheres to the social-media-way of doing things, here it is.
The first literary magazine on the Dark Web, bringing forth literature in the age of Snowden. Use Tor to download the first issue, packed with stories, poetry, and essays.