If Literary Legends Were on Social Media — the Modernists

The Lost Generation would have killed it on social media.

21st century publishing would remove the obstacles that kept many now classic authors from wide readership in their lifetimes. Platforms like Twitter and Medium would play to the strengths of different schools within modernism (Twitter for minimalism, Medium for stream of consciousness.)

Here’s where I think you’d find the major figures of modernism online.

Marcel Proust — Medium

Reading time: 143,000 min

Virginia Woolf — Tumblr & Facebook Notes

Strict privacy settings would keep her posts out of the public eye, but she would enjoy a cult readership among Ivy Leaguers and Etonians — like a philosophical Gossip Girl.

She would attract two kinds of comments:

A. #solidarity from women who reduce her fiction to an endorsement of their armpit hair.

B. “fuck this, I can’t understand a word she’s saying. I hate my English teacher now.”

Ernest Hemingway — Twitter & Instagram

The undisputed master of short-form social media would be Papa Hemingway. His 140 character stories would inspire plenty of imitators and jealous haters.

On Instagram, he’d document his safaris in Kenya and his fishing trips off Cuba. He would do an AMA about his gun collection and catch a raft of shit for shooting a lion and field dressing it on Instagram Story.

F. Scott Fitzgerald — Snapchat

The defining author of the Jazz Age would be one of the first to see Snapchat’s storytelling potential — at least when it comes to aspirational partying. He’d be what you call an “influencer” with sponsorship from gin labels and clothing brands.

Snapchat would have chosen him to beta test their new sunglasses.

Ezra Pound — 4Chan & Imgur

He would post and quickly delete a series of meme haikus featuring Pepe the Frog. His account would get suspended and he’d blame America.

James Joyce — Reddit

Mostly as a lurker… When his books (which would be self-published on Amazon) finally got some attention, someone would dig up his rather kinky Reddit history.


Stay tuned for the romantics on social media, feat. Lord Byron’s dick pics.