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.Read more
And so we approach the end of Burgess’s extensive writing career and his surprisingly prolific foray into invented languages in his literature. I promised at the outset that we’d end up with Nazi Newspeak, and we shall.
Anthony Burgess’s curious compendium novel, The End of the World News, did not emerge until 1982, though most of its contents had been created in some form during the late 1970s. A tripartite narrative, it features the story of the dying Sigmund Freud, alongside a musical version of Leon Trotsky’s visit to New York. All of this is hastily glued together via a frame narrative which leads out of a disaster movie scenario in which an asteroid is set to collide with Earth. If this sounds like three separate stories that don’t belong together, that’s because they don’t.Read more