Thursday, January 24, 2013


Seven Short Stories About Drones

These nine installments, using the first lines of seven literary classics, were all published on January 14, 2013, by novelist Teju Cole via his Twitter feed.
Seven short stories about drones.

1. Mrs Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself. Pity. A signature strike* leveled the florist's.

2. Call me Ishmael. I was a young man of military age. I was immolated at my wedding. My parents are inconsolable.

3. Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather. A bomb whistled in. Blood on the walls. Fire from heaven.

4. I am an invisible man. My name is unknown. My loves are a mystery. But an unmanned aerial vehicle from a secret location has come for me.

5. Someone must have slandered Josef K., for one morning, without having done anything truly wrong, he was killed by a Predator drone.

6. Okonkwo was well known throughout the nine villages and even beyond. His torso was found, not his head.

7. Mother died today. The program saves American lives.

Everything we know so far about drone strikes:
* According to ProPublica, a "signature strike" is a drone attack targeting "apparent militants whose identities the U.S. doesn't know."

Here are the literary works referenced:
  1. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
  2. Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
  3. Ulysses by James Joyce
  4. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
  5. The Trial by Franz Kafka
  6. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
  7. The Stranger by Albert Camus

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