Weird Hamlet — retranslated from the French

Back when I was researching Hamlet for something I would later write up in Hypnotized by Hamlet, I came across reference to a French translation.

The translation of Shakespeare’s play was written by Dumas — yes, the same one who wrote Count of Monte Christo and Three Musketeers.  Since Count is a classic revenge story, I figured it would be worth a read.

But I couldn’t find it in English.  Even the miracle of inter-library loan couldn’t help me.  Finally, I had the good fortune to cross e-paths with Frank Morlock, who at that time had a nearly-completed translation.  He has since put the completed Hamlet, by Alexandre Dumas online.

If you’re curious, the Conrad he mentions is indeed me:  I nagged him to complete the project.  I was surprised to see the mention.  It was a selfish nag.

Dumas’s Hamlet is interesting in comparison to Shakespeare’s and Bellefrost’s, because both Dumas and Bellefrost wrote comparatively normal stories, whereas Shakespeare’s is pretty weird.  If you’re interested in identifying those weirdnesses, one tip is to compare with a non-weird text.

…as you can see, I don’t much go for proper academic terminology.

(I kind of want to read the Klingon Hamlet, but not badly enough to learn Klingon.  I admit I did have a copy briefly, but not knowing the language…

(If only some Klingon bilingual would take a tip from Mr. Morlock and translate the Klingon Hamlet in English!)

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Published in: on May 12, 2012 at 2:44 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Introducing Ramus! — a very nice dynamic document creator

Ramus is a nifty little document creator, created by Felix Pleșoianu, that allows you to start with a paragraph-long document and keep adding text, almost as if it were being written in front of you.  It’s designed to be an Undum lite (or a Vorple lite):  fewer features, but much easier.

And Ramus is very easy.

There are three things you need to make a basic, non-state-tracking document, like a CYOA, and those are laid out in this simple template file:

http://www.intfiction.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=4678

A more complex demo can be found at the Ramus website.

Many thanks, Felix!

Published in: on March 19, 2012 at 10:55 pm  Comments (9)  
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Alternate Universe Friends

A peculiar Ren’Py fanfic now available through the website, this probably-copyright-infringing game is liberally illustrated with photoshopped screen captures from the TV show. It’s not entirely clear whether the images are stills, or overlays assembled on the fly.  It’s a Friends episode in a universe where Hitler won World War II.

The narrative frame is introduced from (presumably) the real-world Friends universe, with the crowd all gathered around speculating on what it would be like if the Axis had won the war. They chatter for just a few seconds (Ross: “I’d be half Japanese.”) before the game begins.

So you’re immediately waiting for the punchline, and this (for me) was a major part of the game experience. There’s no one player character. Instead, you’re given little choices, about what the characters say, and a few choice-points that seem to influence the plot. I didn’t play it more than once — I was never into the show, and the game is enough like the show for me.

The minor choices in dialog set up different retorts from the other characters, which are bland-witty in much the way I recall from the TV program. A great deal of the discussion is about a dress of Monica’s, which looks good but is not appropriate for any particular occasion, so the other characters all chime in with ultimately unhelpful ideas about where she can wear it. There’s a sub-plot about Joey’s job, which is a minor acting gig but which may lead to something better.

So what about Nazi New York? (more…)

Published in: on March 19, 2012 at 10:36 am  Leave a Comment  
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IFC10 review – Flight of the Hummingbird

This is a review of a Comp game, and as often happens in reviews of Comp games, I will be Saying Things about this game.  There’s one thing we need before we begin…

There.  I’ll get a new one soon.

Flight of the Hummingbird, by Michael Martin, is a fine game.  It’s entertaining, fast-paced, and very well-polished.  I gather there are a few alternate solutions.  I have only minor criticisms of this game.

I suggest, if you want to play a fun two-hour text game, you make  it a point to play this one before reading further. (more…)

Published in: on October 22, 2010 at 8:58 am  Leave a Comment  
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IFC10 review – Gigantomania

This is a review of a Comp game, and as often happens in reviews of Comp games, I will be Saying Things about this game.  THE PICTURE is coming up…

There.

Gigantomania, by Michelle Tirto and Mike Ciul, is a beginner game, with some faults.  If you need a hint or don’t know what you’re supposed to be doing, I’ll post the main goal of each section (as I understand them) in a moment.

The title is not a reference to Stalin, by the way.  In order to create an economy of scale, there were plans to combine villages together into huge farming combines.  These schemes were later called ‘Gigantomania.’

(more…)

Published in: on October 21, 2010 at 1:08 pm  Comments (3)  
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IFC10 review – Divis Mortis

This is a review of a Comp game, and as often happens in reviews of Comp games, I will be Saying Things about this game.

Divis Mortis, by Lynnea Dally, is a pretty standard type of IF game.  There are just a few typos and syntactic manglifications of the structures of sentences creep in warily, like the hobo you don’t know about who’s living under your porch.  But these are rare, and it is over all a solid and fun game:  fun if you like lite, light-hearted horror with a bit of grisle.

I finished it in one hour fifty minutes, and (comparing notes with other reviewers) it seems I got the basic no-frills good ending.

From here on there are

s
p
o
i
l (more…)

Published in: on October 12, 2010 at 9:20 pm  Leave a Comment  
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IFC10 Review – Gris et Jaune

This is a review of a Comp game, and as often happens in reviews of Comp games, I will be Saying Things about this game.

(more…)

Published in: on October 8, 2010 at 12:52 pm  Comments (4)  
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IFC10 Review – Heated

This is a review of a Comp game, and as often happens in reviews of Comp games, I will be Saying Things about this game.

(more…)

Published in: on October 5, 2010 at 11:18 pm  Comments (1)  
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IFC10 Review – Sons of the Cherry

This is a review of a Comp game, and as often happens in reviews of Comp games, I will be Saying Things about this game.

(more…)

Published in: on October 5, 2010 at 1:24 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Freytag’s Technique of the Drama (and AutoBlurb, live)

This is such a great book I’ll squeeze it in here, sideways.

Gustav Freytag’s Technique of the Drama is a long, older book that’s available online. A very useful, insightful, and overlooked book.

Freytag says that the dramatic is not emotion and not action, but it is emotion conjoined with action; it is action that is undertaken for emotional reasons. (Shades of Foster-Harris, but with a different palette.) He says drama is composed of play and counter-play: the play is what the hero does and the counter-play is what is done that has an effect on his psyche. He argues that the tragic should be an essentially ethical force which the hero must fulfill (again the resonance with F-H).

He breaks drama into five parts, with three crises joining them. The five parts are the introduction, the rise, the climax, the fall, and the catastrophe. (He only deals in the tragic; no happy endings here.) The three crises are the exciting moment (or exciting force), the tragic moment (or force), and the moment (or force) of last suspense.

He goes through Romeo and Juliette to show how to use minor characters like chess pieces to push around the major characters and make things happen. Indeed, he steps through the process of making a germ of an idea into an entire work — not formulaically, but nevertheless with an eye to the practical and useful.

There’s a slightly typoed pdf of his book here. You can get image-only scans online quite easily.

(That link broke somehow.  It’s fixed now.  I guess I can’t link directly to the pdf.  But the pdf is available for free download on the newly-linked page.)

Meanwhile, AutoBlurb is live and online! You can get completely fresh, random plots generated by clicking these links: Here for classic Polti plots, or here for Polti plots souped up with sci-fi contexts taken from S. John Ross’s Big List of RPG Plots.

Note:  AutoBlurb online does all kinds of weird things with punctuation.  I don’t know why; I don’t have ready access to the online version to streamline the generator file.  These formatting troubles don’t show up if you use the desktop program.

Published in: on November 17, 2009 at 8:34 am  Comments (1)  
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