Translating a Literary Classic ...


Many people believe that with the advent of email, the quality of writing started to decline.

The same people see social media only exacerbating the situation (no LOL from me).

I’m not here to debate the issue.

Instead, let’s turn the tables and see if today’s language can put a fresh spin on writing.

I’ve taken the first paragraph of Ernest Hemingway’s “Old Man and the Sea” and translated it into Twitter-ese.

the old man and the sea

This is what the opening paragraph of the literary classic would look like tweeted out in 140-character chunks:

Hard luck fisherman, old I might add, paints solitary figure alone in his skiff. Think @Cage_Nicolas leaving Vegas

There’s a boy with the fisherman // #hope

No, the boy was only there the first 40 days; old man has been there 84 days.

Thought the old man had been there for a good 90 days.

Could swear the old man spent some time in Motown via @cheechandchong

I heard the boy’s parents made him leave #toughlove

The boy’s parents liked fisherman, but wanted the boy to catch ship which landed three good fish 1st wk #bait

It’s terrible that you can’t eat fish without worrying about #mercury levels. C’mon @Greenpeace

One could argue that it’s downright cruel for parents to make their kids eat fish via @Nolan_Gould

You have a better chance of getting hit by a bus than dying of mercury in the bloodstream.

The boy still cares about the old man.

I don’t know. The boy seems pretty happy in his new “sled” #pimpmyride

I’m telling you – the boy is big-time sad each day when he sees the old man return empty-handed.

Here’s another proof point – the boy always goes down to help the guy carry his coiled lines.

Check out the sail … #salao

I agree with @ErnestH – saw the boy help carry the gaff and harpoon and even the sail furled around the mast.

Pathetic, but functional #rachelray

If it’s pathetic, it’s not functional. If it’s functional, it’s not pathetic. That’s my deep sea thinking for the day.

From what I could see, the sail was patched with flour sacks; smelled like permanent defeat (oppo of Duvall in #ApocalypseNow)

@Rachel_Ray Just uploaded a rice pilaf recipe on Yum-O site that is pathetically functional

It appears the flow of a novel simply can’t sustain the staccato pace of Twitter.

I will not hold my breath for a Pulitzer Prize.

Or even a happy face from Mrs. Tuttle (grade school English teacher).

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