George Orwell Archive

Smartphones Have Potential to Bring About Brave New World or 1984 or Both

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The smartphone wasn’t specifically prophesized by either Aldous Huxley in Brave New World or George Orwell in 1984, but the device is a manifestation of the dark vision both men had for how human beings relate to one another.

Throwback Thursday: Animal Farm by George Orwell

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The moral of the story is perhaps a bit dark, and the suggestion that there is no way to revolt and gain substantive change is perhaps one that has evolved in the nearly three-quarters of a century since the time that the novella was published.

Throwback Thursday: 1984 by George Orwell

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Just two days after President Donald Trump took office, Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway took a seat across from Chuck Todd on Meet the Press. For many, Conway’s comments harkened back to the dystopian vision of society presented in George Orwell's 1984.

Reading the Signs: Letter from Prague

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For the past six months, I’ve been living in Prague—a small but fierce city in Central Europe where despite the cumulative oppressions of Nazi occupation and decades of isolation and communist rule, residents still maintain a well-developed sense of irony. Monitoring the (Anglophone) news from the self-exile of Prague

What Would Orwell Make of This Election?

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Orwellian. The word has become a catch-all describing an invisible yet ubiquitous bureaucracy whose tentacles influence every corner of citizens’ lives. Conservatives and liberals use the term with disgust. Would that it meant something else, if only because it identifies the author with his best-known—if not best—work, 1984, while

What Fiction Means

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There isn’t much that will make you more aware of a book’s message, and leerier of it, than reading it aloud to a child. Maybe this explains why I seem to have discovered books with such inordinately terrible messages during the three-plus years I’ve been reading to my daughter.

Concretizing the enemy

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  Words have always coveted pictures for how immediately they can stir us. I think of the photograph of the South Vietnamese child who’d been sprayed by napalm. No word alive can match it. It was the photo on the cover of every magazine in 1972, which “probably did

The Man Who Loved Dogs

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The Man Who Loved Dogs Leonardo Padura Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, January 2014 592 pages $35.00 Buy: book | ebook “I asked you to come today because I want to tell you that story, Ivan,” the man who loved dogs said to me. [… ] “It’s an incredible story;

The Furious Finish: On Deadlines

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It’s 1979 and the Mad Men-esque execs were in a cab, on the way to present a corporate identity theme to the bigwigs at GE. The current version was pretty clunky and they knew it: We make the things that make life good.” Their agency teams had spent weeks

Why Poetry Can’t Find Its Public, Part Two

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A couple months ago, my blog, “Why Poetry Can’t Find Its Public” nearly caused a riot. Teeth were bared! F bombs thrown! I wanted readers to learn from pop music’s ability to connect with more people. Readers translated this as a suggestion that poetry be like pop music, sell like pop music, sell out like