Het is 30 november, nat en donker. Het KMI geeft 3°C. Buiten troept een zwerm mensen samen op de hoek van het Vossenplein. Waar vanmiddag nog grote collecties snuisterijen waren uitgestald, dansen en drinken ze. Af en toe weerklinkt het refrein van een popsong, omdat ze het luidkeels meezingen. Een jaar nadat mijn roman ‘Tot Later’ verscheen, een verhaal dat zich afspeelt aan een plein dat dreigt te verdwijnen in de handen van een promotor, plakken de protestaffiches massaal op de bomen van het plein hier beneden, dat als sfeervol en tijdloos in alle toeristische gidsen beschreven staat. Aan een jonge linde voor de kerk kan ik nog het silhouet van de promotor onderscheiden. Hij werd er vanmiddag voor een volle markt publiekelijk opgehangen. » Read the rest of this entry «
‘I would have been ten or fifteen pointy little bastards and we held each other and ground my jaws together. “We just drifted apart.” We walked like two people whom he did not seek power for its freedom. If I get a new Middle group splits off from the larynx without involving the higher brain centres at all. Likelier still, nobody knew how we were rubbing our sweaty bodies against each other as long as they parted at the Party is infallible. But since in reality disappeared. Each of the day. Of course. I was going to do so. It was now his diary. And in the future was unimaginable. What certainty had he added half-nostalgically: “‘Oranges and lemons,” say the – Something changed in some connection to this country. But your father is –” She bit into it. Chewed. Swallowed. Gave every impression of having very few words were not continuous. There had been singled out for the counter-attack. Four, five, six – in some way so that his heart a feeling of her t-shirt. Her warm tummy, her soft navel. They inched higher.’
The Python agents’ association called ‘Markmix‘ offer us a version of Doctorow’s Little Brother that brings the novel back in the loop, merging Orwell’s 1984 back into Little Brother. 1984 was a clear inspiration for Doctorow. Many details in the text reveal the source, as f.e.the first nickname of the main character Marcus Yallow. He calls himself w1n5t0n. Pronounced “Winston.”
On Thursday 19th June I received this short message that filled me with joy.
From now on, all actions on the text of 1984 will be executed ‘with the permission of AM Heath and the Estate of the late Sonia Brownell Orwell’ and this until June 2016, for sure.
Sonia Brownell Orwell was the last wife of George Orwell. She married him three months before his death. It is said that she ‘was the model for Julia, the heroine of Nineteen Eighty-Four, the “girl from the fiction department” who brings love and warmth to the middle-aged hero, Winston Smith.’ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonia_Orwell). As if the character of the novel became a model for her life, she unfortunately ended up in poverty, ill and miserable in a basement flat in Paris. For more details: https://suite.io/paul-john-ramos/28f32p6
The four bash agents, ‘cat’, ‘tr’, ‘sort’ and ‘uniq’ easily collaborate in order to provide us in less than a second with a list of unique words in a text.
Their play allows for different readings. » Read the rest of this entry «
[[THS CHPTR S DDCTD T BKKPHNX BKS N TRNT, CND
[[BKKPHNX BKS: HTTP://WWW
‘M SNR T CSR CHVZ HGH N SN FRNCSC’S SNNY MSSN DSTRCT, ND THT MKS M N F TH MST SRVLLD PPL N TH WRLD
*NT* PRNNCD “DBL-Y-N-NN-FV-T-ZR-NN” — NLSS Y’R CLLSS DSCPLNRY FFCR WH’S FR NGH BHND TH CRV THT Y STLL CLL TH NTRNT “TH NFRMTN SPRHGHWY
KNW JST SCH CLLSS PRSN, ND HS NM S FRD BNSN, N F THR VC-PRNCPLS T CSR CHVZ
“MRCS YLLW,” H SD VR TH P N FRDY MRNNG
GRBBD MY BG ND FLDD MY LPTP THR-QRTRS SHT — DDN’T WNT T BLW MY DWNLDS — ND GT RDY FR TH NVTBL
“RPRT T TH DMNSTRTN FFC MMDTLY
1’m 4 s3n10r 4t C3s4r Ch4v3z h1gh 1n S4n Fr4nc1sc0’s sunny M1ss10n d1str1ct, 4nd th4t m4k3s m3 0n3 0f th3 m0st surv31ll3d p30pl3 1n th3 w0rld. My n4m3 1s M4rcus Y4ll0w, but b4ck wh3n th1s st0ry st4rts, 1 w4s g01ng by w1n5t0n. Pr0n0unc3d “W1nst0n.”
L33t was invented by hackers in the 80’s to prevent their websites from simple keyword searches. It was widely spread by online gamers afterwards. Phrases such as ‘I am elite’ became common place, and somewhere down the line l33t speak crept in, reforming the phrase into ’1 4m 3l1t3′ in order to demonstrate that the speaker was a hacker and someone to be feared. L33t speak became so succesfull that the use of it now is cliché.
Our Bash agent seems to confirm the cliché: it only takes a oneliner of less than 50 characters to turn an entire novel into the perfectly legible retro-language, and this, in less than a second. As a reader it raises a question to ex-users of L33t: could the experience of reading the novel in the different degrees of l33t-complexity be compared to reading it in Old English, in Shakespeare’s Early Modern English or in Chaucer’s Middle English?
$ cat Cory_Doctorow_-_Little_Brother.txt | sed ‘s/[aA]/4/g ; s/[eE]/3/g ; s/[Ii]/1/g ; s/[oO]/0/g’ > novel.txt
You wouldn’t want the Nazis running the country.
“You wouldn’t understand.
“You wouldn’t believe it.
“You wouldn’t –”
You would have ended up in jail in a week, two tops.
“You won’t get caught,” I said.
You won’t be able to fight the feeling that you’re dying.
“You will tell him,” she managed.
You will never speak of what happened here to anyone, ever.
You were very generous to give it to me and I’ll try to repay the gift, but you don’t get the right to edit anything out, to change it, or to stop me.
“You were right.”
Read the entire text
» Read the rest of this entry «
This is how far this project goes for now. Twelve hours have past since the first commit.
And I prefer to freeze the concept instead of freezing the spirits by inducing my colleagues, friends and myself into a risky business of working with illegal material.
Luckily there is someone like Cory Doctorow, who rewrote 1984 for youngsters. He managed to get Little Brother published under a Creative Commons Non-commercial Share Alike, ready to remix.
So today I start a new project with a new repository: 1984:revisited.
But not without making a statement first. » Read the rest of this entry «
30 years after the setting of George Orwell’s 1984, the novel is frequently referenced in articles on privacy, data protection and the surveillance society. Search for ‘Big Brother’ in this database f.ex.: http://etraces.constantvzw.org.
The novel was written in 1948, speculating on a totalitarian society that would not allow for any possible resistance.
Do these references to 1984 make sense? And to what extent? That is the question for which this project is a thinking tool. Today there is not one government, not one system. The surveillance society is a fragmented one, Big Brother has such a friendly face we do not organise a big protest after the heroic act of Snowdon, and the human minds seem far too messy to be able to control them. But then there are a lot of similarities too.
This revisiting journal is launched on gitorious today, on 4th April 2014, exactly thirty years after the main character Winston started his journal in Orwell’s novel. The methods for revisiting are inspired by the ideas living at Constant and Variable in Brussels, the experiments with video and archives of Michael Murtaugh, Stéphanie Villayphiou’s Blind Carbon Copy, discussions with members of Algolit and the belief that Kenneth Goldsmith might be right when he states in ‘Uncreative Writing’ that the literary digital revolution is only about to start.