Tot later in déjà vu

November 30th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

lepromoteur

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 «

Revisiting Little Brother: a 1984-spam Vanessa took off his glasses

June 27th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

‘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.”

Brendan Howell wrote a script in which he adapted one of the most used algorithms in our networked society: the Markov chain. » Read the rest of this entry «

Revisiting Little Brother: the illusion of being unique

May 2nd, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

novel_uniq

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 «

Revisiting Little Brother in sms messages

May 2nd, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

LTTL BRTHR
CHPTR 1

[[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

Read more here…
» Read the rest of this entry «

Revisiting Little Brother – the l33t novel

April 18th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

L1ttl3 Br0th3r

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.”

Inspired by the gaming culture of Cory Doctorow’s Little Brother, the novel has been rewritten in basic l33t speak by the Bash agent ‘sed’, replacing A by 4, E by 3, I by 1, O by 0.

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?

The oneliner:

$ 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

Read more about this project: 1984 Little Brother Git
You find more versions of the novel on this blog and on gitorious.

Revisiting Little Brother – Reading the novel as an anaphor

April 5th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

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 will.
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 «

Tot Later 2.0

October 25th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

2013: Tot Later, roman, Bezige Bij Antwerpen

2013: Tot Later, roman, Bezige Bij Antwerpen



















De roman Tot Later, uitgegeven bij De Bezige Bij Antwerpen, werd feestelijk gepresenteerd in Ateliers Mommen op 14 september 2013.
Je vindt het boek in alle boekhandels en kan het ook online kopen.

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Enkele echo’s

Brussel Deze Week sept 2013

“Als er een roman uitkomt waarin Brussel als locatie een belangrijk woordje meespreekt, dan is dat nieuws. Zeker als het om de minder bekende kanten van Brussel gaat, zoals in An Mertens’ doorleefde debuut Tot later.” Michaël Bellon, Brussel Deze Week, 13 september 2013
http://www.brusselnieuws.be/nl/nieuws/mertens-debuteert-met-stadsroman-verhalen-uit-de-buik-van-brussel

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TV Brussel

“An Mertens praat op tvbrussel over haar stadsroman ‘Tot later’. Daarin eist Brussel de hoofdrol op.” TV Brussel Avondjournaal, 19 september 2013
http://www.brusselnieuws.be/nl/video/tvbrussel/mertens-over-stadsroman-met-brussel-hoofdrol

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Interview FM Brussel

“Héél Brussel? Jawel. Of toch een hele hoop straten en stemmen, twintigers die het leven en de stad ontdekken, zevenkoppige draken en een cafékat. Schrijfster An Mertens vertelt over haar debuutroman ‘Tot later’, hoe ze de vijfhoek in een zeshoek stopt, en waarom ze niet zonder schrijven kan.” Interview met Johan De Smet in king Kong, Fm Brussel, 16 oktober 2013
http://www.fmbrussel.be/artikel/an_stopt_brussel_in_een_boek.aspx

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weekendknack_totlater

weekendknack_totlater1-2

Weekend Knack, Inzicht, door Peter Van Dyck, 10 september 2013




Hoe de vijfhoek in een zeshoek past

October 22nd, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

Schermafdruk van 2013-10-22 12:56:56 Tijdens een interview op FM Brussel over de roman Tot Later vroeg Johan De Smet of ik een jaar lang met een muur vol post-its had geleefd, want dat hij onder de getuigenissen van de personages een strakke structuur vermoedde. Nee, geen post-its, en ja, wel een strakke structuur. » Read the rest of this entry «

Tot Later BBA – feest!

September 22nd, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

Tot Later in de versie van de Bezige Bij Antwerpen werd feestelijk gelanceerd in Ateliers Mommen op 14 september 2013.
Met dank aan iedereen die erbij was!

0_137925329620739400_resized » Read the rest of this entry «

The Identity of Trees

March 7th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

workshop_id_kl In the framework of Bessst, a silence program organised by Vlaamse Gemeenschapscommissie, artists Heath Bunting (irational), Rasa Alksnyte (FoAM) and An Mertens (Constant) welcome fifteen people to participate in a 2-days workshop to meet some particular trees and discuss their identities in such a way you’ll never forget them anymore.

Through questions we deal with daily, we look into the integration of trees as arborescal personas in our society, lives and language.
What’s your name? Where do you live? When were you born? Where do you come from? How long have you been living here? How did you arrive here? What is your mother tongue? Do you have any persons in charge? Are you married? Living together with a partner, family or friends?
We formulate possible answers, invent suitful concepts and words and think through the consequences of integrating such persona in our lives and societies. By the end of the workshop we will have gathered some exciting new stories. By sharing these during Erfgoeddag on 21-4 and Zoniënmars on 28-4 we will have save the first trees out of their anonimity. » Read the rest of this entry «