Our correspondent sat down with Tilda Swinton at the Four Seasons in Austin and filed a little web interview for the New York Times:
I have to ask this. There’s this Twitter account called “Not Tilda Swinton.”
Tremendously popular — I wish I could bottle that smile — have you read a handful of the quips? What do you think about the whole deal?
I should have thought of what my response should be to this! I think it’s completely brilliant, and I’ve been in touch with those guys. Well, it’s, I don’t know what to say; I’m all for myths. Long live myths. They’re protective.
“SXSW Q. and A. | Tilda Swinton”: T Magazine (3/11/14)
It may or may not be coincidental that last year’s most notorious mock-Twitter account takes its name and avatar from the creature whom Jonathan Swift, in Gulliver’s Travels, cast as more reasonable than man—perhaps, indeed, too reasonable, too cold, its morals too much like algebra. In a recent New Yorker profile of Jacob Bakkila and Thomas Bender, @Horse_ebooks’ founders and proprietors, Susan Orlean quotes a curator at the Whitney Museum: “[The account’s] ‘play with identity, and the fusion of the human and the machine’ placed Bakkila and Bender firmly within the genre known as ‘net art.’” This triumphalist label feels rather silly, but the uneasy negotiation between “the human and the machine” is at the heart of the humor and surprising warmth of literary Twitter presences. The Web afterlives of canonical writers are bound within these diametrics: In abstraction, automation, isolation, recapitulation, their words weave through servers and are culled by algorithms and finally re-emerge—like any classic however preserved—at once alien and familiar on the collective tongue.
“Retweeting the Classics: Bookish joke-accounts — and the serious people behind them”: Pacific Standard (2/19/14)