Regular readers of our irregular blog will recall the series of posts we did on Anthony Burgess’s other invented languages a couple of years back, of which there are more than a few. These collected thoughts have now been expanded, revised and published in the peer-reviewed Hungarian journal of English literature, The Anachronist, and (almost all) the journal is free to read or download in the spirit of open access thanks to the publishers at ELTE, Hungary’s foremost university.
In this paper, Burgess is used to demonstrate that the role of invented languages in literature goes far beyond the existing well-explored territories of Science Fiction (SF) or High Fantasy, though they predominate therein, and can also be found in historical novels, and even realist fiction, as Burgess’s variegated novels reveal.
This is Ponying the Slovo’s second publication for 2023, and it’s not even two weeks in. We might need a little lie-down!
Anyhow, feel free to read the article here, and the whole journal, all of which will be of interest to Burgess scholars, may be accessed from this page.
In a post back in February (apologies for the rather long gap) we discussed in broad terms the situation with Turkish translations of A Clockwork Orange, Otomatik Portakal (literally “Automatic Orange”). Our initial look at the two translations suggested that Nadsat had been largely suppressed – there was no real evidence of it as a separate anti-language. This post looks at the later and more rigorous Körpe translation in more detail to examine what happened and discuss whether there even is such a thing as Turkish-Nadsat. This post is based on work we recently presented at the fascinating I-conlangs 2022 conference held at the University of Turin. [Our slides for the presentation can be seen here.]
Well, you did ask us to look at Cityspeak, the invented pidgin that appears in Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner (1982). It seemed like it might be an interesting thing to try to get to the bottom of. As it transpired, that was certainly the case.
The iconic movie is a loose adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s 1968 novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, and features Harrison Ford as the titular Blade Runner Rick Deckard, a cop who is coerced into hunting down some escaped replicants, or androids who can pass for human.