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Aphasic Literature Virus

  (+9, -2)
(+9, -2)
  [vote for,

A computer virus intended to infect either the final-stage typesetting machines at book printers or, if possible, e-book readers, the Aphasic Literature Virus will, over the course of a sufficiently lengthy book, slowly degenerate the perfectly crafted prose into a featureless and disorientating landscape by gradual replacement of nouns with pronouns, removal of adjectives and adverbs and the replacement of gaudier verbs with the pitifully generic.

"Isaaksson Taff closed the window and crept gingerly over to the undmade bed."
"He closed the window and crept over to the unmade bed."
"He closed it and went over to the bed."
"He closed it and went to it."
"He did it and went to it."
"He did it and did it."

calum, May 11 2010

Aphasia - Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aphasia
Aphasia is an acquired language disorder in which there is an impairment of any language modality. [In No Particular Order, May 11 2010]

Agatha Christie http://www.guardian...alzheimers-research
[mouseposture, Jun 01 2010]


       Might be nice to have a real-time slider to adjust how florid what you are currently reading is. [+]
pocmloc, May 11 2010

       Maybe have a slider to adjust current levels. [+]   

       (On saying that, I like the temporal degeneration of the text through the virus)
Jinbish, May 11 2010

       I thought aphasia was when you saw sounds.
FlyingToaster, May 11 2010

       I have to go fish on this one. So few people bother to read books nowadays, it should be a crime to punish those of us who do. Leave the typesetters alone!
In No Particular Order, May 11 2010

       You can't saw sounds. You have to use a special editor. A saw just isn't suitable for separating one part of a sound from another (unless it's a Musical Saw).
8th of 7, May 11 2010

       got it... [+] Could be useful as a memory tool too.
FlyingToaster, May 11 2010

       [FlyingToaster]: I think you're thinking of synaesthesia, or a form of it.
kaz, May 11 2010

       I like this for song lyrics, maybe starting with a very lyric folkish song like the Hurricane, and as the lyrics degenerate the beat picks up , culminating in a thumping electronica with "he did it and did it!"
bungston, May 11 2010

       I like this [+], but I would also like another virus which did the opposite (i.e. empurpled prose). Ideally, both would be released into the wild, & achieve some sort of equilibrium.
mouseposture, May 11 2010

       The key thing, what I was working from here is the rough parallel between the way your sensorium regulates your relationship with the world outside your mind and the way that the text regulates the reader's relationship with the narrative. From this, I came to a hazily defined conclusion that if mental and physical decay - loss of sight, loss of comprehension and recall - have their literary equivalents in loss of textual clarity, then a novel which suffers from such degradation, worsening over its course, where the actions and thoughts of the characters and the descriptions of the scenes become more confused, less readily udnerstood would be, in some small way, instructive of what it is like to suffer the effects of, for example, the encroachments of senility.   

       And so, this idea began not as a virus, but as a conceit for a novel, probably structured round some old geezer's recollections from his once-plush nursing home armchair, his tales vibrant and engaging at first, hijinx and fruity old slang being the order of the day, just the right amount of caddishness to his actions and charm in his retelling that you feel the vicarious thrill of being part of things that you might have done, once, had you not learned so much more than you wanted to in Sunday School. These are great and colourful tales and it doesn't matter than he's probably spinning you a yarn because you're enjoying yourself and he has company, rather than sitting at the window watching the pollen swirl in the low yellow sunlight. But on successive visits, the tales become less sharply recounted, characters hazing into each other a bit, you're concentrating more now but still following it, filling in the blanks with what you've learned before. And then comes the day that you realise that you're waiting for his visual cue, for him to lean in across the arm of the chair, a half smile inviting your laughter and oh you give it happily and loud but a fraction of a beat too slow. That's when he too realises that you've been sitting there listening to him talk, apparently as engrossed as before, but now he knows that you haven't been following, that he is getting muddled, that visiting him is no longer for you something to look forward to but a job to be done out of duty, habit or, worst of all, pity. And though he'll continue to spin you his stories, each less clear than the last, the pauses for to capture threads getting longer and less frequently resolved, the gleam is fading from his eyes.   

       And then I realised that it would probably be a bit too sad, heavier on the melancholy than senility really is. Better then, for it to be confusing and angry-making - an enforced, random, irreversible development, ruining your Jodi Picoult/Stieg Larsson/Alasdair Gray, a small annoyance surely compared to reality but perhaps a baby step towards understanding.
calum, Jun 01 2010

       ... so much like reading "The Gunslinger" series.
FlyingToaster, Jun 01 2010

       [calum] The story might need some kind of hook to make the reader carry through on the vists such as the clues to a stash of cash or the solving of a family mystery. Like life, the clues are in the gobledygook situations.   

       "He did it and did it" isn't really gobledgook but rather text white noise.
wjt, Jun 03 2010


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