Apparently, melancholic love stories written by Japanese girls on their cellphones are all the rage. According to the NYTimes, five out of ten 2007 best-selling fiction books in Japan were cellphone novels.
What’s interesting is that the phenomenon didn’t happen as a result of an intense need to appropriate technology into a creative outlet, but instead, the technology was what sparked the itch to write.
From NYT: “It’s not that they had a desire to write and that the cellphone happened to be there,” said Chiaki Ishihara, an expert in Japanese literature at Waseda University who has studied cellphone novels. “Instead, in the course of exchanging e-mail, this tool called the cellphone instilled in them a desire to write.”
Structurally, the novels are written in short sentences that form tight paragraphs, which nicely fit on phone screens. There’s also a lot of dialogue with spaces in between the lines, which are used to communicate that the characters are deep in thought.
Here’s an excerpt from the wildly popular “To Love You Again,” written by 22-year old Satomi Nakamura (who busted a blood vessel in her pinky finger from hardcore texting):
Kin Kon Kan Kon (sound of school bell ringing)
The school bell rang
“Sigh. We’re missing class”
She said with an annoyed expression.
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