Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.


Twitter hits back after Franzen rant


The novelist Jonathan Franzen has called Twitter an "irresponsible medium" which has become the enemy of writers and readers.

The American author of The Corrections, who has previously criticised Facebook and ebooks, said at a talk in New Orleans: "Twitter is unspeakably irritating. Twitter stands for everything I oppose.

"It's hard to cite facts or create an argument in 140 characters. It's like if Kafka had decided to make a video semaphoring The Metamorphosis. Or it's like writing a novel without the letter 'P'.

"It's the ultimate irresponsible medium. People I care about are readers... particularly serious readers and writers, these are my people. And we do not like to yak about ourselves."

Franzen's outburst gave rise to its own Twitter hashtag – #JonathanFranzenhates – with suggestions of other irritations in the Pulitzer Prize-nominated author's life, including kittens and cameras.

One critic tweeted: "Twitter was actually made for people like Franzen. Every time he speaks more than 140 chars, he embarrasses himself."