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Nineteen Eighty-Four Hardcover – November 3, 1992
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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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“Nineteen Eighty-Four is a remarkable book; as a virtuoso literary performance it has a sustained brilliance that has rarely been matched in other works of its genre…It is as timely as the label on a poison bottle.” –New York Herald Tribune
“A profound, terrifying, and wholly fascinating book…Orwell’s theory of power is developed brilliantly.” –The New Yorker
“A book that goes through the reader like an east wind, cracking the skin…Such are the originality, the suspense, the speed of writing, and withering indignation that it is impossible to put the book down.” –V. S. Pritchett
“Orwell’s novel escorts us so quietly, so directly, and so dramatically from our own day to the fate which may be ours in the future, that the experience is a blood-chilling one.” –Saturday Review
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Today Kellyanne Conway announced that we were given alternate facts. Shades of changing the past and controlling the present
Get ready to party like it's 1984
I am glad I did. I no longer view it as a frightening vision, as I consider the scenario depicted impossible. I view the work as an indictment of the Soviet Union employing the satirist's tactic of exaggeration to heighten the critique. By envisioning a world even worse than the USSR, increasing its horrors in every area and manner, Orwell managed to rebut the Union's liberal apologists too timid to condemn Stalin, afraid doing so would discredit socialism. His master stroke was in setting the system in England, showing the World what such a system would look like in the "Western" world, not someplace foreign to his target audience. Orwell forced English and American readers to confront the awful possibility, to face the harsh facts of such a system that they might not welcome it but work to prevent it.
Now I find *1984* enjoyable, particularly Julia and O'Brien. Winston is good, but they are great.
How knee-deep are we in this hoopla? What can we learn from Winston's & Julia's plight?
It's that we're, well, not *quite* there yet ... but the corners, once turned, aren't re-doable.
Here's what's up: "This plan, this Christofascist takeover of the US government, [that] has been in the works for decades" which you've heard about on Autostraddle has been documented by others (see C Street: The Fundamentalist Threat to American Democracy); a sizable chunk of Democratic voters don't even get to *go* the polls, there's been a concerted campaign of interference (see The Best Democracy Money Can Buy); Citizen United made most things all-but-impossible, period (Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right); the noise machine obscuring truths about non-Republican is quite real and well-established (Killing the Messenger: The Right-Wing Plot to Derail Hillary and Hijack Your Government); 1/5 of the global GDP is black-market economy (see McMafia: A Journey Through the Global Criminal Underworld, where this figure comes from); the "fake news" parodied in my own Glenn Beck: Limp-Dick Detective; and uh Bush/Cheney left things a tuned-up machine (Takeover: The Return of the Imperial Presidency and the Subversion of American Democracy) to ... well. We'll see.
ALSO: I've found J.G. Ballard's Hello America: A Novel and Philip K. Dick's Radio Free Albemuth, both of which I've gotten through recently, to be apt, timely, and of-the-moment. Ditto John Shirley's A Song Called Youth trilogy, which he's revising, once again, for a *3rd* edition, which was how I first found out about this far-too-far-right Le Pen family to begin with! Stay tuned.