Real Time WWII
Just as this blog has allowed me to translate my grandparents private and unique (handwritten) letters into public, digitized pieces, twitter is changing how we re-examine history. I recently read this article in the New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/28/arts/re-enacting-historical-events-on-twitter-with-realtimewwii.html?_r=1&ref=arts
The article is about a twitter feed that “live tweets” events of WWII (this means that he tweets events at the time and on the date that they occurred 70 years ago). The 140 character medium taps into the public’s voracious appetite for WWII history while accomodating the oh-so-busy modern man. It occured to me, however, that people subscribing to this twitter feed are finding out about events much faster than the people living through them in 1939 would have. So much of the tension in the correspondence between Alex and Sylvia lies in the delay that mail necessitates. What impact, then, did the news delay have on the public’s interpretation of the war? When Sylvia heard news of the end of WWII, had Alex already been notified? When she reacted to the news, she had to wait days to find out whether her husband felt the same way. I’m relieved that I don’t have hourly tweets of their correspondence to go through.
To follow the twitter feed and see how other people are revisiting this time period in American History you can follow @RealTimeWWII. These tweets will continue for 6 years and will therefore become, in themselves, an encyclopedic historical account of WWII.
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