Paradise Lost by John Milton
The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
Oedipus the King by Sophocles
Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage by Lord Byron
The Red and the Black by Stendhal
Macbeth by William Shakespeare
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Iliad by Homer
Hamlet by William Shakespeare
The Overcoat by Nikolai Gogol
The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
The Inferno by Dante Alighieri
A Hero of Our Time by Mikhail Lermontov
Candide by Voltaire
Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe
Emma by Jane Austen
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
King Lear by William Shakespeare
Lysistrata by Aristophanes
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
Medea by Euripides
Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
On the Road by Jack Kerouac
Notes from Underground by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Eugene One gin by Alexander Pushkin
The Epic of Gilgamesh
The Odyssey by Homer
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
The Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman by Laurence Sterne
Venus in Furs by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch
Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Swanns Way by Marcel Proust
The Aeneid by Virgil
The Devil in the Flesh by Raymond Radiguet
Dracula by Bram Stoker
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Lady Chatterleys Lover by D. H. Lawrence
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Alices Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
The Tempest by William Shakespeare
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
Death in Venice by Thomas Mann
The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
Life can offer us no greater treasure than art. It is all that is beautiful, and all that allows a man’s soul to take leave of the quotidian trifles that molest his waking mind, to be lifted to the highest peaks of experience, and to peer briefly into the sublime. It is that which removes man from the static residue of time and casts him into the gentle waters of the eternal. It is to hear and to speak softly in the beauteous tongue of antiquity, and yet to foresee all that will unfold through the illimitably growing passage of our universe.
In short, art is pretty sweet.
What a tragedie, then, that so many modern people find the great works of literature inaccessible, overwhelming, and even, perhaps, dull. It is not a defect of their character, nor any special ineptitude that has disposed them in this manner; rather, these great texts – timeless as they may be – are, in their present form, outdated. Who but college students, hermits and disciples of the disgraced John Ludd can muddle through them with any hope of understanding? This is what we seek, through our humble efforts, to remedy.
While some may describe the reinvention of our world’s Great Works to suit the ever-evolving brain of the modern man as ‘a triviality’, ‘a travesty’, or ‘that sucks’, we prefer to think of ourselves as modern-day Martin Luthers. Herr Lurher took the Holy Scripture itself and seeing that the classic Vulgate no longer spoke to the souls of his contemporaries, he translated it into the vernacular of his time. By doing so,Luther unleashed a revolution of faith and literacy upon sixteenth-century Europe that had not been seen before and has not been equalled since.
In our own way, and in our own time, we hope to do the same.
However, it’s probably best if we stay clear of the Bible.
You may be wondering, good sirs, what exactly we intend to do with these great works of art. What one must keep in mind is that the literary canon is not valued for its tens of thousands of dull, dull words but for the raw insight into humanity it provides. While perhaps an unwieldy tome was the best method of digesting this knowledge during a summer spent in the Victorian countryside in the Year of Our Lord, Eighteen Hundred and Seventy Three, times have changed. Virginity must not be distracted with books, nor damsel-chasing pacified with poetry. Instead we must run free into the world and not once look back.
And so, we give you the means to absorb the strong voices, valuable lessons and stylistic innovations of the Greats without the burdensome duty of hours spent reading. We take these Great Works and present their most essential elements, distilled into the voice of Twitter – the social networking tool that with its limit of I40 characters a post (including spaces) has refined to its purest form the instant-publishing, short-attention-span, all-digital-all-the-time, self-important age of info-deluge – and give you everything you need to master the literature of the civilized world.
For indeed, does any man have such great pretence as to suppose that he may digest all that it is right and proper for him to have digested in the stunted mortal fit granted to him by Providence? Perhaps in the eighteenth year of your life you sat on a porch asking yourself: What exactly is Hamlet trying to tell me, why must he mince words and muse in lyricism, and, in short, whack about the shrub? Such questions are no doubt troubling – and we believe they would have been resolved were the Prince of Denmark a registered user on Twitter.com, well versed in the idiosyncrasies and idioms of the modern day. And this, in essence, is what we have done. We have liberated poor Hamlet from the rigorous literary constraints of the sixteenth century and made him – without losing an ounce of wisdom, beauty, wit or angst – a happening youngster. Just like you, dear reader.
In brief – and we mean this literally – we have created our generation’s salvation, a new and revolutionary way of facing and understanding the greatest art of all arts: Literature.
And allow us now to open
The eternal aperture,
To the brilliant soul of common man,
We present to you . . . Twitterature.