18 October 2013

The Power of Twitter

I've come to love Twitter. I follow writers and book reviewers, and a few humorists for good fun, and of course the great and glorious Maria Popova @Brainpickings. I learn, I link to interesting facts and stories, I feel part of a literate community.

So imagine my surprise when I tweeted about reading a great novel by Iris Murdoch [Under the Net] that I'd not read before, and got a reply from Iris Murdoch. Specifically, @IrisMurdoch. Dame Iris passed years ago. And yet she tweeted to little me, from the great beyond.

I followed the lead and discovered that @IrisMurdoch is the Centre for Iris Murdoch Studies at Kingston University, UK, in conjunction with the Iris Murdoch Society. They must carefully track via keywords all that is written about the great writer, and respond accordingly. Out of curiosity, I "followed" @IrisMurdoch and @IrisMurdoch now follows me @ocbookblogger.

Suddenly I feel a greater responsibility to tweet intelligently, and meaningfully, more than even before, as Dame Iris is watching. Although, were Dame Iris alive, I'm not sure what she would make of this mode of communication. Likely she would scoff at it.

What a hoot! Who would have imagined that I might reach a point in my life that a writer of such renown would be reading my tweets? Metaphorically of course, or as Dame Iris might have thought, metaphysically. Whatever the descriptor, in effect, a connection has been made, and it makes me proud.

Thus, the power of technology. The power of Twitter. The power of one writer reaching out from the grave to inspire another. I'd like to think that in another life and time, Dame Iris and I would have been, if not friends, friendly acquaintances. I would admire her spirit and existential wisdom; she would appreciate my perseverance and good cheer.

A lovely fantasy, compliments of Twitter.

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