Oscar Wilde on Twitter
I hate to break this to you, but that isn't really Oscar Wilde sending updates to a popular web2.0 social messaging service. It's actually me, Kim, sending out little snippets of wit for your enjoyment.
Why on earth am I doing that? Well, a couple of my internet chums are doing very clever and intelligent things with blogs, and twitter, and literature. I admire their work, dedication and the deep thinking behind it all. However, I am a somewhat less dedicated person, and also significantly more shallow than the fine gentlemen concerned.
As I was sitting in Monmouth Coffee in Borough Market the other day, I eavesdropped on two actresses having a very actressy conversation - a lot of 'He was like, and I'm not sure, because it's you know' - all phatic utterance, with very little information being passed. It amused (and appalled) me so much I transcribed a fragment to my phone, and SMSed it to twitter. It struck me that that is what twitter is - a very lightweight method for making phatic utterances, holding together social ties by talking nonsense. Leisa Reichelt has wise things to say on the subject.
Anyway, the amusing triviality of use got me thinking - I much prefer random aphorisms, phrases and fragments coming from my twitter stream - an amuse-bouche of little offhand linguistic epigrams. That was what made me realise that my contribution to the worthy world of re-presenting literature should be throwaway and shallow (but a bit deep, too) - and involve republishing one of my favourite works of literature: Oscar Wilde's Phrases and Philosophies for the Use of the Young. It's the perfect work to consume via twitter - it's shallow, vain and a tiny bit self obsessed. Also, it comes in nice short lines, which are (I hope) mostly under 140 characters. Win!
So there you have it. If I were clever, I'd work out a way of automagically scraping wikiquote and passing it through Hassleme and IMifieding that to my hand whittled Linux Cluster, or something. But I'm not, so it's just me cutting and pasting stuff. As such, it will probably stop when I get bored of doing it - knowing me, that will be about three months time.
In the meantime, find out more about Oscar Wilde using the links below, and I hope you agree that his beautifully honed quotes are as relevant to our Generation Me society as to his Fin de Siècle one.
More on Oscar Wilde
- Biography of Oscar Wilde at Wikipedia
- Works by Oscar Wilde at WikiSource
- Oscar Wilde Quotations at WikiQuote
- Images of Oscar Wilde, and other media at Wikimedia Commons
- Public Domain Oscar Wilde Books at Project Guttenberg
Need to get in touch with me? Email oscar at mildlydiverting dot com or direct message oscarwilde on twitter