Sunday 19 March 2017

Brookner on Twitter

Followers of this blog may or may not also have noted my extremely minor presence on Twitter. I'm not at all sure there's much overlap between readerships. My experience of Twitter has been mixed, whereas this blog continues to give me almost unalloyed pleasure. Anita Brookner features to an extent on Twitter, though I don't know how she compares with similar authors or authors thought to be similar. I suspect Barbara Pym is more popular. Brookner tweeters seem to fall into four categories. There are a handful of superfans. Then there are more generalist literary tweeters who admire Anita Brookner among others. Next we have random folks who have clearly just stumbled on a well-known line from one of the novels or interviews. And finally there are what I believe are called bots, automated pedlars of quotes (I'm not certain about this last category, nor why such things exist, and I'm not keen to find out more). Little jokey storms can blow up from time to time. Someone will tweet a particularly bleak line, and others will try to trump it. It's perhaps a bit of a British thing. It can while away an afternoon. But really there's limited substance. And one must always judge the mood, and pitch one's tone accordingly. Anita Brookner herself was no user of technology ('I haven't got any of these machines' - 2001 interview), and probably didn't approve, though I have no doubt her representatives kept her informed. One thing I would say in conclusion. I do not want to read any more tweets about time misspent in youth or what Dr Ruth Weiss knew at forty, or anything more from Hotel du Lac.

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