McSweeney’s has posted a course syllabus and overview for a fictional class called “Internet-Age Writing”. Prerequisites include LIT: 223—Early-21st-Century Literature: 140 Characters or Less, ENG: 102—Staring Blankly at Handheld Devices While Others Are Talking and ENG: 301—Advanced Blog and Book Skimming. While it’s a funny commentary on the changing state of modern communications methods, one can’t help but wonder if this kind of class will eventually become a reality. (Or has it already?)
From the introduction:
Instant messaging. Twittering. Facebook updates. These 21st-century literary genres are defining a new “Lost Generation” of minimalists who would much rather watch Lost on their iPhones than toil over long-winded articles and short stories. Students will acquire the tools needed to make their tweets glimmer with a complete lack of forethought, their Facebook updates ring with self-importance, and their blog entries shimmer with literary pithiness. All without the restraints of writing in complete sentences. w00t! w00t! Throughout the course, a further paring down of the Hemingway/Stein school of minimalism will be emphasized, limiting the superfluous use of nouns, verbs, adverbs, adjectives, conjunctions, gerunds, and other literary pitfalls.
[via The Morning News]