Q: What is “twitlit”? A: It’s a piece of literature written on Twitter, you twit. I’m writing this in tweets, then gathering bunches of them here.
He awoke to find that his hair was on fire. Calmly, he lumbered to the bathroom and immersed his head in the basin.
“The Bong!” he thought, and rushed to the bed. There it lay like some angular teddy bear, its lifeblood spent on the pillow.
Was this what his life had come to? He cast a wary glance at his bookshelf. Gibbon’s Decline and Fall glared at him accusingly.
He pictured himself walking the five blocks to the laundromat, wobbling like some demented toadstool under the damp down comforter.
This was not the academic life he had pictured for himself: a shabby one bedroom apartment. The smell of bongwater and cat pee.
Some Oxfordian fantasy of his youth – Tolkien and Lewis tweed-clad and gossiping in made-up languages - was to blame for all this.
Barthes Roland was his actual name. Some kind of intellectual joke by his ne’er do well (yet highly literate) prankster parents.
As a matter of principle he had somehow managed to avoid reading even one word of Roland Barthes in his seven years of lit grad school.
Barthes glanced at the brown plastic clock – hanging from the cord off the bedside table. 10:30. “Fuck! The Meeting!” He exclaimed.
He donned a tweed cap to cover the melted clump of hair, a pair of brown corduroys and a Hemingway-esque fishing sweater
He shuffle-dashed across the quad, passing an anemic looking man whose face would distort every few seconds into a terrifying grin.
It wasn’t clear whether this was a facial tic or some kind of warm-up.
Barthes was late. He squared his shoulders, strode into the faculty room and plonked himself down prominently in a beige chair.
The chair – one of those molded plastic affairs with metal legs – listed alarmingly to the left. Barthes played it cool.
“You’re sinking, Barthes!” cracked Lars - a snarky 25 year old fresh out of UC Davis who was basically running the Lit Department.