Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Texting and "writing"???

The intro to "Writing in a Time of Terror" in the Norton states, "Writing in a time of terror began during the first hijackings, as passengers on the doomed plane made cell-phone calls and sent text messages." Is it me or is this saying that phone calls and text messages should be considered pieces of writing?

What do you all think? Do you think text messages fall into the category of writing as we know it? Can a phone conversation be "writing"? Or am I totally misinterpreting the sentence?


  1. i think that is what it was trying to say... i dont think we could normally consider that writing but I guess that is the pinnacle moment when the actually "time of terror" began so those messages set the tone...

  2. I do believe text messages are in fact taking on a new form of writing in our era. There have already been several books published that are set up entirely like a text message or IM conversation. I don't recall their titles.

    Texts don't always say the most important things, a simple what's up or what's the plan for tonight. Think of Texts from Last Night. We read that, wouldn't you consider that some kind of humorous literature that we make up a context for?

  3. Whenever I think about texting and 9/11 I cant help but think of the intro of Love Actually where Hugh Grants makes the comforting point that all the reported messages from the victims before their deaths were ones of love and never hate or malice. It is poignant that love was the emotion that topped all when they had just one last text message

  4. Aren't texts another sort of letter from the earth--from the most mundane of devices, a telephone?

    Regarding Lauren's comment, click here.

  5. I think the text messages are kind of like the postcards in the last book we read. We don't really think much of them and if you just read one you're probably not going to know much about what's going on. But if you put all the text messages together and add in some context you could probably find a pretty interesting story.

  6. Yea, I think he is saying that a phone conversation can be writing. Or rather, these phone conversations and text messages were symbols of the agenda that is the literary movement labeled "The Time of Terror."

    It is, however, somewhat unsettling that text messages could be considered worthy of being noted in the Norton. But, when looking at 9/11 as a turning point in literature and history as we know it, those specific text messages and conversations represent questions that writers, authors, and everyone is trying to answer because of those attacks.