02 June 2011

Tweeting Ulysses: Unicode rebuses

Although I am re-reading Ulysses (just entered the bar with “bronze by gold, Miss Douce’s head by Miss Kennedy’s head”) I am also looking at my twitter section wherein Stephen is about to get beaten up by some soldiers in Nighttown & Bloom intervenes to save him). I’m wondering how I’m going to do it. The episode swings between factual description of what is being said & wildly hallucinatory images, among which we see King Edward VII dropping in (he for whom the Edwardian era was named) and at the end, a Croppy Boy (short-haired Irish rebel from the century previous) being hanged in a proto-Burroughsian fashion. I am thinking of developing separate tweetStyles for the straight passages & the hallucinatory passages, the latter to be done in a more visual, less prosaic manner.

In yesterday’s post I listed different tactics for saving space in tweets, and the rebus idea has been interesting me more & more. A certain amount of rebusing can be done with the conventional character set (“2 B or not 2 B…”) but since Twitter accepts Unicode, there is a big store of visual dingbat types of characters available. I have installed a little web browser tool called TwitterKeys, which provides 40 or 50 useful symbols, & have also looked at the WikiPedia article that lists many many Unicode characters http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Unicode_characters . I did an experimental tweet that verifies to me that I can copy & paste characters from this Wiki page or the browser tool. I think I’ll collect all the even remotely conceivably useful characters from Wikipedia, and make a document I can take them from. Presently, I am thinking of icononizing King Edward the Seventh into ED.VII♚ , using the black chess king symbol, 7 characters instead of 23.
I am eager to use symbols like these ♨ ♬♒☽☠ ➨ ✣ to show but a few, but will discipline myself to be true to the text.

No comments:

Post a Comment