Revisiting Little Brother – Reading the novel as an anaphor

April 5th, 2014 § 0 comments

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

Now I put the 1984:revisiting project on hold, I am violently happy to be able to work with Cory Doctorow‘s novel Little Brother. Doctorow is a hero: he is able to tackle the complex issues of our online lifes in his work, he finds solutions to distribute the electronic copies for free, and his books sell very very well.

Already in 2008 he published this ‘updated’ version of George Orwell’s 1984. He wrote it as a statement for teenagers, as an invitation to think, to discuss, to act. He published the electronic copy under a a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike license, which allows me to use it and write him a cheerful mail full of compliments to announce him I will be using his texts for my revisiting experiments in a new gitorious project called 1984:revisited.

The first rewriting is done by four Bash agents. The first one is called ‘sort’. She allows any amount of data to be sorted in alphabetical or numeric order. This Bash agent allows for a very ancient stylistic form in less than a second: the Greek anaphor. The entire novel is rearranged as a poem of which each combination of verses start with the same word(s).
The second one is ‘tac’. She has the magical power to read any amount of data backwards, starting at the end of any file.
But none of them could work in this case without the assistance of the third and the fourth agents, called ‘cat’ and ‘sed’. Sed prepares the field: she puts the necessary order, by inserting line breaks after each dot, so the two others know what a sentence/line is. She was a bit lazy though, she did not separate questions or exclamations :-). And cat allows for writing the results in a new file.

3 Bash Agents:

1/ Rearranging the lay-out of the sentences:
$ cat novel_noparagraphs.txt | sed -e “s/.\./&\n/g” > novel_lines.txt

2/ Sorting the sentences in alphabetical order from A to Z:
$ cat novel_lines.txt | sort > novel_linesA-Z.txt

3/ Reading the entire text from end to beginning:
$ tac novel_linesA-Z.txt > novel_linesZ-A.txt

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