Twitter review: “Novel opening bot” (小説冒頭bot): Experience Japanese literature in bite-sized chunks

By | August 20, 2017

It’s only recently that I’ve been spending more time using Twitter, both posting links for some of my articles as well as reading those made by others. I’m sure many people will agree that Twitter is a great way to eat up your time, but from what I’ve seen it is, more often than not, more suited for entertainment as opposed to educational purposes.

But, after looking around, I finally found a few educational Twitter feeds. The first one I will be introducing is “Novel opening bot” (小説冒頭bot), which you can see here.

I don’t remember how I stumbled on this bot, but I’ll explain it by translating the description listed on it’s twitter page:

小説の善し悪しの半分は冒頭で決まる。印象的な小説の冒頭をbotで流します。

Half of the merits of a novel are determined by its opening. Here I introduce memorable novel openings using a bot.

Since the posts are, by nature of Twitter, extremely short, this feed is a great way to study Japanese a little bit at a time while dipping your toe into the ocean of Japanese literature. If you are impressed enough by any of the intros (there are 3000+, and the bot has been running since 2013), you can buy that book and try a read through.

I liked one of the quotes so much I actually responded to the tweet with an English translation.

I’d like to translate more of these, but due to word count limitations it can be difficult to make a proper translation. Ideally I would like to include the author’s name and novel name as well, but in the above post I had to omit them due to lack of space.

If you are into Japanese literature “Novel opening bot” is definitely something worth checking out. Sadly, there only seems to be around 150 followers, which is close to the number I have at the moment for my twitter feed.

 

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2 thoughts on “Twitter review: “Novel opening bot” (小説冒頭bot): Experience Japanese literature in bite-sized chunks

  1. Yeti

    Thanks for pointing this out. This looks like a great way to learn about some new authors. Most of the authors are Japanese, but it’s neat to see the Japanese translation of the opening lines of some English books as well. I noticed that a couple of the books on the first page were repeats, so there may not be a full 3000+.

    Reply
    1. locksleyu Post author

      Thanks for the comment.

      I didn’t realize about the repeats. I was curious how the ‘bot’ actually generated these things. If there is a database it is pulling from, I’d like to know about it. Maybe I can try to find the author and ping them.

      Reply

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