Good heavens. “I love you”, machine-translated from English to French to English to German to English to Italian to English to Portuguese to English to Spanish to English, becomes “Master to him”, now would you have guessed that? Lost in translation has been doing the link rounds lately, and it’s quite an amusing literary game.
Literary games are also the topic of the latest issue of Poems that go, which includes an introduction by Nick Montfort and a selection of poems, or games, or both, both familiar and new. Nathalie Bookchin’s The Intruder is here, for instance. I’ve played it before, and always love the first scene, or set, I suppose, where you have to hit words to acquire more of the sentence. Unfortunately I also always get lost or sidetracked further in so I’ve never succeeded in finishing it.
Nick Montfort and Rachel Stevens’ Field of Dreams is lovely, and doesn’t make you annoyed because you couldn’t finish it either: it lets you make sentences or stories with missing words that later visitors can fill in. The strangest sentences appear. As people make new fields, old ones disappear, like dreams. I liked Ingrid’s, now vanished; it made surprising sense whichever words you put into it.
Are you going to go and make a dream field? We’ll populate it if you do!