Internet-Age Writing Syllabus and Course Overview

My former student Mike Rubino sent me this link to a wonderfully awful new media course description. String me up by my USB dongles if I ever teach a course like this.

As print takes its place alongside smoke signals, cuneiform, and hollering, there has emerged a new literary age, one in which writers no longer need to feel encumbered by the paper cuts, reading, and excessive use of words traditionally associated with the writing trade. Writing for Nonreaders in the Postprint Era focuses on the creation of short-form prose that is not intended to be reproduced on pulp fibers.

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.– McSweeney’s

2 thoughts on “Internet-Age Writing Syllabus and Course Overview

  1. Hi! I really need some help and ideas for my creative writing assignment. We have to mimic the Canterbury Tales by Chaucer. We have to have 5 diverse characters (so far I have a brunette young woman who is a musician from NJ) and they are going on a pilgrimage to NYC. They have to be diverse based on gender, class, race, and occupation and where they are coming from. Then they have to each tell a story. I am having a lot of problems being creative with them. I really have no idea where to start. I would really appreciate any ideas. Thanks!.

    • What are your characters going to NYC for? All for the same reason? What does the color of the woman’s hair have to do with the reason she is going to NYC? Why is that detail important? Going from NJ to NYC is not all that hard, so how would her motive differ from someone who travels from much farther away? What is the purpose of the assignment, and how will you be evaluated? Did your teacher show you any examples? Have you asked your teacher for help? Is it due tomorrow?

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