In an age of electronic communications that are mostly conducted on the tiny screens of mobile phones, it is worth wondering what the future has in stock for literature, and its younger sister, print journalism. A new genre appears to be emerging, called “Twitterature.” Certain kinds of poetry, including haikus, can survive and even thrive within the constraints of 140 characters or less. One noted practitioner of the Twitterature creation is Eric Jarosinski, a former professor of German literature and philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania. He now edits NeinQuarterly, a Twitter account that amounts to a literary review. It boasts 134,000 followers. He composes his verses primarily on his smartphone. One thing very limited space does is enhance the relevance of punctuation and each word, forced to impose itself over the universe of the other ones. It may be too early to say that this may one day become a mainstream form of literature. Yet judge it for yourself on its conciseness: “#HowToFindHappiness Think of where you last saw it. See if it’s still there. If it’s not, ask yourself why it left. If it is, ask yourself why you didn’t stay.” To alarmist souls, your worries about the extinction of books and newspapers may be premature. As a published author and columnist himself, Jarosinski says, “old media still pays.”
Now “an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband, and father of three school-age children,” Harry Potter will return at midnight on July 31, his birthday. The new book, however, is the script of the play “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” opening in London on July 3o. Even if it is not a novel proper, and notwithstanding the thrill among the fans, a debate has started on the sides of the announcement about this sequel, set 19 years after Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, when the wizard boy and his friends saved Hogwarts from evil: should the character return or be left alone? A fan speaks: “Even if a new book were horrible, I would still read it… I’m an old and loyal ‘Potter Head’ since I went to fetch volume 5 (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix) to the importer’s office in the Buenos Aires neighborhood of Belgrano R, the midnight of launch day, in the middle of a winter storm with lightning, rain and cold in 2003,” says Verb Company President Victor Aimi. “It was like passing one of the challenges faced by Harry.” That the book leapt to the top of charts on Amazon and other stores with pre-orders within 24 hours of the announcement speaks about the magic it exerts on readers.