Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Telling Old Stories in New Ways

Rick Moody, author of The Ice Storm, is telling a story on Twitter right now.

He’s releasing his short story, “Some Contemporary Characters,” as a series of posts on ElectricLit’s feed. The story is being updated every 10 minutes and is supposed to be completed Wednesday.

Thus far, the story seems to be a romance between an older, erudite man and young, attractive bartender. (If I complained about Twilight being wish fulfillment, I can’t let this plot slide. I am so sick of older-writer-gets-worldly-younger-woman stories. I don’t blame Moody. I blame Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s Memories of my Melancholy Whores and Philip Roth’s The Humbling.)

Moody’s tweets alternate between the man and woman’s perspective as they talk about their relationship from the anonymity of cyberspace. (Does anybody still call it cyberspace? I wish they would.)

Moody incorporates themes of technology and online confession in his tale. After their first kiss, the woman notes, “That was it, nothing else, and people kiss every day, and the only difference nowadays is that people try to text while kissing.”

Moody’s writing is clever and the story is cute. My only knock is the subject has been overdone and Moody doesn’t use Twitter to its full potential.

His story is co-narrated by the man and woman, yet the tweets all come from a single feed. It seems like a missed opportunity that is unique to his chosen medium.

In other news, Catherine and Heathcliff audition for Twilight.

-Jason Lea, JLea@News-Herald.com

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