We have partnered with Twitter on Word by Word, a tweeting typewriter installed in the Globe’s foyer which over a period of months will type out The Complete Works of Shakespeare.
From Thursday 5 May, the typewriter will begin to type out The Complete Works from start to finish, sourcing its words from Tweets sent out in real time. As a Tweet appears somewhere in the world containing the next word, Word By Word will release it – until all of Shakespeare's plays and sonnets have been gradually revealed.
Originally part of 2015’s #PoweredByTweets exhibition at Somerset House, the Word by Word typewriter, developed in association with Pixie Labs, has been reimagined to mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. Since not all of Shakespeare’s language will be found in real time Tweets, the typewriter will stop when it cannot find the next word – at which point, visitors to the Globe will be asked to help out by tweeting it themselves, using the hashtag #TheCompleteTweets.
The installation will be on display in the Globe’s foyer from May 5, and will remain for as long as it takes for the entirety of The Complete Works to be typed. The display includes the typewriter and a screen showing the manuscript in progress, working from the W.W. Norton definitive version of the text.
Follow Word By Word on Twitter @CompleteTweets
Text from The Norton Shakespeare, Third Edition. Edited by Stephen Greenblatt, Walter Cohen, Suzanne Gossett, Jean E. Howard, Katharine Eisaman Maus and Gordon McMullan. Courtesy of W.W. Norton & Company.