Literary criticism is not new. Conducting it via Twitter is.
In early 2016, distinguished Shakespearean scholar Brian Vickers published The One King Lear, a volume intended to address, and put to rest, a point of scholarly debate suggesting the play may have been revised after its initial publication. Another scholar, Holger Syme, found Vickers’ book wanting and shared his criticism in a series of 500+ tweets. Vickers, in turn, found Syme’s critique wanting, retorting: “He trivializes literary criticism, reducing it to attention-catching sound bites. Is this the way to go?”
In a print-based world, Syme’s criticism would have appeared as a formal article in a traditional journal. Not so in the digital, networked world. Yet no academic library is likely to collect these tweets and curate them.