The TwLetteratura Method

With the TwLetteratura method you can read and comment on cultural contents collectively through Betwyll and Twitter.

TwLetteratura is the name of the method we developed to read and popularize works of literature, art and culture, using the interaction and the direct communication potential offered by social networks. This method has been piloted by Paolo Costa, Edoardo Montenegro and Pierluigi Vaccaneo since January 2012; around them, a wide community of readers has gathered, composed of thousands of passionate followers and hundreds of regular ‘re-writers’.

The community chooses a book to read and comment on – chapter by chapter, based on a shared reading calendar – ‘re-writing’ it on Betwyll (the social reading webapp developed by TwLetteratura) or Twitter. Participants share their own views in twylls and/or tweets, which can be a paraphrase, a variation, a comment or a free interpretation of the original text. The use of different stylistic registers – based on the Oulipo model – allows users to experiment with unlimited combinations of deconstruction and reconstruction of the original text: a system of micro-texts produced by the community (comments) related to the work itself and among them (with each twyll/tweet generating replies, comments, additions).

Betwyll is TwLetteratura’s webapp that allows to apply its method in a more private environment, where, on a single screen, the user can find the text to read and the space to comment on it. Furthermore, on Betwyll, social reading projects can be open to all or restricted to a specific category of users (i.e. the students of a class, in schools or universities; the employees of a company; the participants in a training course).

The instructions on this page are to be considered as a guide for all those who are willing to run a social reading project using the TwLetteratura method. Such method can also be used as a didactic tool supporting, but not replacing, more traditional approaches, in order to:

  • educate in the reading practice and stimulate the passion for books, works of art, and culture;
  • teach the rules of synthetic writing;
  • foster an informed use of new technologies and online social networks.

The TwLetteratura method is one of the digital civic education tools included by the Italian Ministry of Education in the platform Generazioni Connesse and was also acknowledged by the European Commission as one of the 15 good practices to promote reading in the digital environment. 

Although so far applied primarily to the literary context, the TwLetteratura method might extend to other domains, i.e. iconographic analysis, listening of musical works, interpretation of movies and, more generally, the decoding of cultural products, tourism included.

Here you can find some support materials:

We invite you to use the TwLetteratura method to realize your cultural projects at the following conditions: you must quote the sentence below to make the ownership of the method explicit; you cannot use the method for commercial purposes, you cannot modify its distinctive features: “The TwLetteratura method, invented by Paolo CostaEdoardo Montenegro and Pierluigi Vaccaneo, is published under the Creative Commons (Attribution – Not Commercial – Share in the same way) license on the website“.