Brussel, Bruxelles, Brussels, Bruselas, Bruxxel, Brüsel, Buruseri…
Fact 1/ In 2006 I felt the urge to write a novel inspired by people living in this city, who are mostly realising their brilliant ideas and visions inside organisations and platforms that have public websites. I tried to Insert the links into the text of the book, but it did not work.
Fact 2/ I decided to write a novel in my mother tongue (which is one of the official languages of this city), knowing that half of the people who inspired me do not understand this language. People kept on telling me how sad it was they would not be able to read the story. They gave me their story, I was not able to give mine back in return…
Fact 3/ I don’t like translating.
Fact 4/ Reading a novel takes a lot of time.
In 2007 Femke Snelting learned me the word distributed works, pointing at artwork that is at the same time exposed, but also exists as a website and/or a printed publication. I decided a distributed novel would be a decent answer to some of the questions above.
The same year I came across Tsila Hassine who pointed me to the software Shiftspace. I made a prototype of a digital story throughout webpages, in English, using this software. It has died by now, RIP.
In 2009 I got the support from the VGC to publish the distributed novel, as an experiment in self-publishing, calling upon the artistic, linguistic and commercial talents around me, and looking into Print-on-demand-techniques. As Shiftspace was by then not so suitable for OS-platforms, Femke Snelting redesigned the digital story using html-frame.
Just before the launch of the book the publishing house De Bezige Bij Antwerpen got interested in the manuscript, on the condition that I would rewrite some parts. We celebrated the author’s version of the book and I decided to write a new book based on the same plot. It will be launched with an updated digital version next to it.