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“The Good Captain” by Jay Bushman

Screen capture from “The Good Captain” By Jay Bushman. Gray colored picture of a night sky with a meteor passing through. The screen shot also has the title of the poem on top.
Open “The Good Captain” by Jay Bushman

This work adapts Herman Melville’s Benito Cereno in two significant ways: by making it a work of science fiction and by publishing it serially through Twitter. By mapping the structure of Melville’s novella of a slave rebellion on a ship at sea onto a spaceship with robots allows Bushman to explore similar issues with a different metaphor. Using Twitter as a writing constraint (with a 140-character limit per tweet) shapes the telling of the story and makes its prose closer to poetry.

This is a screen shot of "The Good Captain"'s twitter account.

Its publication on Twitter— originally from November 3, 2007 to February 29, 2008 and rebroadcasted in 2012— makes for a 4-month reading experience which magnifies its multiple voices, perspectives, and reconstruction of uncertain events.

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