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Humanist Archives: Nov. 30, 2019, 9:52 a.m. Humanist 33.447 - failure of another sort: conceal to reveal

                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 33, No. 447.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
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        Date: 2019-11-29 14:29:34+00:00
        From: lachance@chass.utoronto.ca
        Subject: Failure of Another Sort


I have come across an interesting and quirky case...

Maged Zaher _the consequences of my body_

Failure of another sort — engineered failure for the monolingual English
reader — you turn the page in Zaher’s book and on the verso is this
section of what looks like Arabic. No translation, no annotation.

I  turned to an Arab-speaking friend who informs me:

Typically, one has to understand what one is reading in Arabic and do so
with a good grasp of the grammar in order to read it correctly. This is
one reason why the language is classified as one of the most difficult in
the world.

Your poet is intentionally trying to make things even more difficult. The
Arabic script is in mirror image. And, to complicate things further, it is
all in upper case letters without any spaces separating the words.

I am assuming the intention here is to have the text resist optical
recognition software and hence make it accessible only to a living
breathing Arabic reading human.

In this case the machine is to aid communication, connecting with the
human, by resisting the machine.

Francois Lachance

zaher-consequences.jpg: https://dhhumanist.org/att/81835/att00/ 

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