Calling All Lit Majors

Get the gist of a novel by text message

Don't have time even to read CliffsNotes? Come January, Britain's Dot Mobile will roll out a new cell-phone service that summarizes literary classics in ultra-terse text messages. The firm aims to "fillet" pertinent plot points and provide another important study aid by highlighting key quotes. Who's helping the company distill the works of Austen, Dickens and Shakespeare into précis such as the one below of Romeo and Juliet? John Sutherland, who chaired the judging panel for this year's Man Booker Prize for fiction. The University College London professor says text messaging's "educational opportunities are immense." Perhaps, assuming such bite-size lessons will...

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