K E Tallmo: |
80' & 90's experimental prose etc
I have translated and re-edited some old texts that originally were written in Swedish. Some stuff was written in English from the start.
- The Watcher's Ability to Interfere. This is a novel from 1992, which was the first hypertext novel to be published in Sweden (see also this presentation with parts in English). A short sample in translation:
Over the loudspeakers it was announced that right now they were flying above an overcast northern Germany, a message the passengers received with disproportional invigoration. Peter tried to imagine that he had northern Europe beneath his feet, a rather imperial metaphor, a turn of phrase from echoing elementary school classrooms, filled with floor wax aroma, which reduced this incomprehensibly vast area to a fathomable abstraction, as convenient as a school atlas with its glaciers, rain forests, deserts and cultivated areas, over which a dreamy pointer finger once slowly glided with the same ease that the airplane now seemed to scan the European continental shelf; and despite the fact that this took place at very high speeds it seemed to go unendingly slow, and the plane undoubtedly lost the race against the forward creeping finger from the geography lesson - just as Achilles lost to the tortoise.
Parts of this novel have been translated into English, by Henrik Nordström and myself. Those parts are presented here as plain text, with connecting summaries and explanations of the original links and other effects:
- Cover for "The Watcher's ..." (1992)
- A Thimble of Annual Rain. This was my first book to be published in Swedish (publ. Symposion, Stockholm, 1990), here in translation. The entire text is short, the three chapters together are only about 45 K. It is a dreamlike associative poetic kind of prose. I am now and then working with an extremely flexible hypertext version for Hypercard. The text on the back of the printed book was (a quote from the main text):
The first time he saw her was on an airplane, seatbelt fastened, she had that flickering elegance, which certainly charachterized open fire, but also the streamlines surrounding a woman who is used to cling on to the waist of a motorcyclist at roaring speed. She was a church, a cathedral, where a confined dog was barking.
- Marathons Buck was written in Swedish and later in an English version. Since it is a sort of pastiche of Finnegans Wake it really should have been written in English originally. But there actually is a Swedish version. The English version is available at The Art Bin.
Some randomizing text generators ...
- The Harbor. This was the first I wrote in this series. Originally written in the late 70's, planned to be performed on stage. In 1989 I turned it into a Hypercard stack, and in 1994-95 I translated it into English. Available at Art Bin:
- Frowning or Treble Bob Major. Plain text sample from one realization. This is a work in (slow) progress. Phrases are put together in a sort of controlled random mode, partly inspired by the English change ringing tradition, so you end up with sentences like:
Almost immediately another girl smashed a cup, enjoying the dark, noticing the lifeguard uncannily stealing from a most unusual father. Out in the open the girl had a drink, dwelling upon recent tidings, like the delinquent repeatedly caressing a relieved harlot. Just before supper the headmaster kissed his hand again, eating evil, in a manner suggesting the dismissed partaker neatly hitting a popular little boy.
This is a Hypercard stack, which presents the sentences on-screen as they are put together, and at the same time they are read out aloud (from about 50 snd files embedded in the stack). This text is supposed to be read staccato or marcato with a British accent and Richard Burtonesque timbre. The text is structured into chapters of different flavors, that is, the randomizing parameters are set somewhat differently. Included here is plain text from one realization.
- The Essex House Papers - "The Scholar Testifies, as transcribed by Mrs O'Connor". Plain text sample from one realization. This is another change ringing project. I use sound from an authentic interview, short phrases like "there was a long discussion about" and "before all this happened" and "for some reason or other" are combined, so you end up with sentences like:
Before all this happened he had the response to non-perception, and then, you couldn't possibly miss it, the rather incoherent brother reading in such and such a way. After that arose this idea of white on black, and then, by all means, another executor chatting and chattering away. What was the point?
This is a really a Hypercard stack, but included here is a plain text version from one realization.