The cellphone grows more wondrous and indispensable to us every day. Talking is the least of it. We text and Tweet our heads off, send photos, watch TV shows, play video games. But in Japan, imperium of the future where all the above is old hat, the keitai (cellphone) has further spawned a wildly successful, populist fiction genre. Keitai shosetsu, the so-called cellphone novel, has been touted (in the pages of the New Yorker, among other places) and reviled (by Japanese literati) as the first narrative mode of the txt msg age -- the herald of a written-word future bent by wireless telecom's powers.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Stories - 140 characters at a time
Can you distill a story to the size of a phone? That's the idea behind cellphone novels: