Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Orwell, George "Nineteen Eighty-Four"


Orwell, George "Nineteen Eighty-Four" - 1949

I am pretty sure I read this book in my youth. But that was so long go, certainly before 1984. So, I thought it was about time to re-read it.

Has Orwell's negative Utopia arrived, did he predict well? Yes and no. "Big Brother" IS watching us. Even as I type this, I know that anybody who would like to, will be able to read this. But is “Big Brother” really interested in my musings about the books I read. I doubt it. A few of my friends read it and that is no different to me making a couple of photocopies and distributing it.

However, I think "Big Brother" are all of us. We have seen how useful the internet was last year when all those people protested against the regime in their countries. Without the internet, without mobile phones, facebook, etc., there would not have been this massive change as there was.

So, for better or worse, Orwell's phantasies have come true but it is used in a completely different way. The telescreen could be compared to facebook, only, we can decide what we put in there and what not and we can also decide who we let in to read what we are writing and who not. Huge difference.

My favourite quote of the book: "We shall meet in the place where there is no darkness."

From the back cover:
"Among the seminal texts of the 20th century, Nineteen Eighty-Four is a rare work that grows more haunting as its futuristic purgatory becomes more real. Published in 1949, the book offers political satirist George Orwell's nightmare vision of a totalitarian, bureaucratic world and one poor stiff's attempt to find individuality. The brilliance of the novel is Orwell's prescience of modern life - the ubiquity of television, the distortion of the language - and his ability to construct such a thorough version of hell. Required reading for students since it was published, it ranks among the most terrifying novels ever written."

I love maps and I love to know where the people I'm reading about are, so I was looking for a map of Oceania, Eurasia and Eastasia and found one here.

Another great Orwell book "Animal Farm".

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