I recently retold Alan Sillitoe’s short story ‘The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner’ as the ‘The Loneliness of the Lockdown Runner’ for Twitter. The purpose of this was to embed images and hyperlinks that documented the first year of lockdown and draw attention to the inherent contradictions and anxieties raised during our enforced confinement. Unfortunately, the Twitter algorithm is unable to distinguish between fact and fiction and the account has been suspended, presumably for inciting hatred or misinformation, but hopefully common sense will prevail and it will be reinstated at some point. But just in case an algorithm doesn’t have common sense, I’ve popped the Twitter timeline here (to be read left to right) as a record of my wasted venture to apply themes from Sillitoe’s short story to our current conditions.
I will be doing another version of this story as a visual essay for YouTube but this will play less homage to Sillitoe and instead focus more directly on the mental breakdown of a lockdown runner. Watch this space…
- Twitter @Lockdown_Runner (twitter.com/Lockdown_Runner)
- Happy Birthday Sr Tom, here’s your prezzie (dawnoftheunread.wordpress.com)
- Reimagining Sillitoe during covid (leftlion.co.uk)
- Loneliness of the Lockdown Runner (nottinghamcityofliterature.com)
- Twitterature: The Loneliness of the Lockdown Runner (jameskwalker.co.uk)
- Twitterature: Reimagining Sillitoe’s class for the covid generation (jameskwalker.co.uk)