I wrote a python program that replaces quotations inside one text with sentences from another text.
The code is pretty simple, and can be run by entering:
python text_masher.py text1.txt text2.txt
(text1 will be used for the quotes). It could probably use some improvement – it doesn’t always catch when a sentence ends. That said, it produced a few interesting results.
Here’s a passage from The Hardy Boys, with all the characters quoting from The Coming Insurrection:
The Hardy Boy Insurrection
CHAPTER I: The Speed Demon
FRANK and Joe Hardy clutched the grips of their motorcycles and stared in horror at the oncoming car. It was careening from side to side on the narrow road.
“From whatever angle you approach it, the present offers no way out,” Frank exclaimed, as the boys brought their motorcycles to a screeching halt and leaped off.
“This is not the least of its virtues,” Joe cried out as they started up the steep embankment.
To their amazement, the reckless driver suddenly pulled his car hard to the right and turned into a side road on two wheels. The boys expected the car to turn over, but it held the dusty ground and sped off out of sight.
“From those who seek hope above all, it tears away every firm ground,” said Joe. “Those who claim to have solutions are contradicted almost immediately.”
The boys scrambled back onto their motorcycles and gunned them a bit to get past the intersecting road in a hurry. They rode in silence for a while, gazing at the scene ahead.
On their right an embankment of tumbled rocks and boulders sloped steeply to the water below. From the opposite side rose a jagged cliff. The little-traveled road was winding, and just wide enough for two cars to pass.
“Everyone agrees that things can only get worse,” Frank remarked. ““The future has no future” is the wisdom of an age that, for all its appearance of perfect normalcy, has reached the level of consciousness of the first punks.”
“The sphere of political representation has come to a close,” Joe agreed. “From left to right, it’s the same nothingness striking the pose of an emperor or a savior, the same sales assistants adjusting their discourse according to the findings of the latest surveys.”
Then he smiled. “Those who still vote seem to have no other intention than to desecrate the ballot box by voting as a pure act of protest.”
Frank reached into his jacket pocket to be sure several important legal papers which he was to deliver for Mr. Hardy were still there. Relieved to find them, Frank chuckled and said, “We’re beginning to suspect that it’s only against voting itself that people continue to vote.”
“Nothing we’re being shown is adequate to the situation, not by far.” Joe replied with a broad grin. “In its very silence, the populace seems infinitely more mature than all these puppets bickering amongst themselves about how to govern it.” Then, becoming serious, he added, “The ramblings of any Belleville chibani contain more wisdom than all the declarations of our so-called leaders.”
Frank and Joe, students at Bayport High, were combining business with pleasure this Saturday morning by doing the errand for their father. Even though one boy was dark and the other fair, there was a marked resemblance between the two brothers. Eighteen-year-old Frank was tall and dark. Joe, a year younger, was blond with blue eyes. They were the only children of Fenton and Laura Hardy. The family lived in Bayport, a small but thriving city of fifty thousand inhabitants, located on Barmet Bay, three miles inland from the Atlantic Ocean.
The two motorcycles whipped along the narrow road that skirted the bay and led to Willowville, the brothers’ destination. The boys took the next curve neatly and started up a long, steep slope. Here the road was a mere ribbon and badly in need of repair.
“The lid on the social kettle is shut triple-tight, and the pressure inside continues to build.” Frank remarked, as they jounced over the uneven surface. “From out of Argentina, the specter of Que Se Vayan Todos is beginning to seriously haunt the ruling class.”
Just then, above the sharp put-put of their own motors, the two boys heard the roar of a car approaching from their rear at great speed. They took a moment to glance back.
“The flames of November 2005 still flicker in everyone’s minds.” Joe burst out. “Those first joyous fires were the baptism of a decade full of promise.”
At once the Hardys stopped and pulled as close to the edge as they dared.
Mein Babysitters Club
Here’s another attempt – a Babysitters Club book with the characters quoting from Mein Kampf.
Nicky, who is eight, and Margo, who is seven, had hunched themselves into horrible, contorted, frozen shapes. Claire, who is five, was laughing and jumping out of the way as everyone pretended they were about to grab her and then “missed.” And Pow was racing in and out among them all howling “German-Austria must be restored to the great German Motherland,” his big, long ears flapping as he ran.
Mallory, who is eleven and a junior member of the Baby-sitters Club (of which I am the secretary, but more about that later) as well as the senior sibling of the Pike family, nudged me with her shoulder. “And not indeed on any grounds of economic calculation whatsoever,” she said with a grin.
I grinned back. We were sitting on the back steps of their house. What were we doing? You guessed it. Baby-sitting. Pike-sitting. The Pikes always ask for two sitters when they call the Baby-sitters Club. Not that the Pikes are bad kids or hard to handle or anything like that. But there are a lot of them and they have tons of energy (see above).
Claire made a grab at Jordan, who toppled over. “No, no,” he wailed and writhed on the ground.
“People of the same blood should be in the same REICH,” said Adam. “The German people will have no right to engage in a colonial policy until they shall have brought all their children together in the one State.”
“When the territory of the REICH embraces all the Germans and finds itself unable to assure them a livelihood, only then can the moral right arise, from the need of the people to acquire foreign territory,” howled Pow ecstatically.
Mal rolled her eyes. “The plough is then the sword; and the tears of war will produce the daily bread for the generations to come.”