“Why Twitter? Why not Twitter?” Nigerian-American author Teju Cole tells anchor Marco Werman about his latest series of tweeted tales. The topic: drone strikes. A heavy topic for just 140 characters but Cole says it’s the best platform to get the word out there. With more than 70,000 followers, perhaps he’s right.
Cole takes a literary approach. Mrs. Dalloway is blown up on the way to the florist. Ishmael is “immolated” at his wedding. Ralph Ellison’s “Invisible Man” is made invisible for a very different reason.
The tweets were collected into one story by Graduate Student/Reporter Josh Begley, who himself is tweeting an account of every reported drone strike at @dronestream.
“There is something about reading great works of literature that is first and foremost about identifying. We come to hold the protagonists, the characters as in some ways like us.”
Killing off the canon is not something Cole takes lightly. But his aim is to grab people’s attention and empathy.
“I started thinking about something which in my mind I called the empathy gap between what was happening on the global war on terror and the attitude or lack of attitude that people had with what was going on.”
On Thursday, Anchor Marco Werman will talk with Cole about his latest attempt to bridge that gap.