George Orwell birthday, 1984 author, Animal Farm, Big Brother, Thought police, Newspeak, Orwellian, Mainstream media nemesis

George Orwell birthday, 1984 author, Animal Farm, Big Brother, Thought police, Newspeak, Orwellian, Mainstream media nemesis

“All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others.”…George Orwell, “Animal Farm”
“And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed
–if all records told the same tale–then the lie passed into
history and became truth. “Who controls the past,” ran the
Party slogan, “controls the future: who controls the present
controls the past.”…George Orwell, “1984″

Today, June 25, 2011 is George Orwell’s birthday.

One of the highest honors I ever received was when the Post & Email placed the photo of George Orwell in the article they did on the Citizen Wells blog on May 25, 2010. I am also honored to present the following on George Orwell and 1984.

From The Complete works of George Orwell.

“Eric Blair was born in 1903 in Motihari, Bengal, in the then British colony of India, where his father, Richard, worked for the Opium Department of the Civil Service. His mother, Ida, brought him to England at the age of one. He did not see his father again until 1907, when Richard visited England for three months before leaving again until 1912. Eric had an older sister named Marjorie and a younger sister named Avril. With his characteristic humour, he would later describe his family’s background as “lower-upper-middle class.” ”

“In 1944 Orwell finished his anti-Stalinist allegory Animal Farm, which was published the following year with great critical and popular success. The royalties from Animal Farm provided Orwell with a comfortable income for the first time in his adult life. From 1945 Orwell was the Observer’s war correspondent and later contributed regularly to the Manchester Evening News. He was a close friend of the Observer’s editor/owner, David Astor and his ideas had a strong influence on Astor’s editorial policies. In 1949 his best-known work, the dystopian Nineteen Eighty-Four, was published. He wrote the novel during his stay on the island of Jura, off the coast of Scotland.”

“During most of his career Orwell was best known for his journalism, both in the British press and in books of reportage such as Homage to Catalonia (describing his experiences during the Spanish Civil War), Down and Out in Paris and London (describing a period of poverty in these cities), and The Road to Wigan Pier (which described the living conditions of poor miners in northern England). According to Newsweek, Orwell “was the finest journalist of his day and the foremost architect of the English essay since Hazlitt.”

Contemporary readers are more often introduced to Orwell as a novelist, particularly through his enormously successful titles Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four. The former is considered an allegory of the corruption of the socialist ideals of the Russian Revolution by Stalinism, and the latter is Orwell’s prophetic vision of the results of totalitarianism. Orwell denied that Animal Farm was a reference to Stalinism. Orwell had returned from Catalonia a staunch anti-Stalinist and anti-Communist, but he remained to the end a man of the left and, in his own words, a ‘democratic socialist’.

Orwell is also known for his insights about the political implications of the use of language. In the essay “Politics and the English Language”, he decries the effects of cliche, bureaucratic euphemism, and academic jargon on literary styles, and ultimately on thought itself. Orwell’s concern over the power of language to shape reality is also reflected in his invention of Newspeak, the official language of the imaginary country of Oceania in his novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. Newspeak is a variant of English in which vocabulary is strictly limited by government fiat. The goal is to make it increasingly difficult to express ideas that contradict the official line – with the final aim of making it impossible even to conceive such ideas. (cf. Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis). A number of words and phrases that Orwell coined in Nineteen Eighty-Four have entered the standard vocabularly, such as “memory hole,” “Big Brother,” “Room 101,” “doublethink,” “thought police,” and “newspeak.” ”

Read more:

http://www.george-orwell.org/l_biography.html

Some of my favorite “1984” quotes.

“And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed
–if all records told the same tale–then the lie passed into
history and became truth. “Who controls the past,” ran the
Party slogan, “controls the future: who controls the present
controls the past.”

“The past, he reflected, had not merely been altered, it had
actually been destroyed. For how could you establish, even
the most obvious fact when there existed no record outside
your own memory?”

“The past is whatever the records and the memories agree upon.
And since the party is in full control of all records, and in
equally full control of the minds of it’s members, it follows
that the past is whatever the party chooses to make it. Six
means eighteen, two plus two equals five, war is peace,
freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength.”

“If the party could thrust its hand into the past and say
of this and that event, it never happened–that, surely,
was more terrifying than mere torture and death.”

“the Times of the nineteenth of December had published the official forecasts of the output of various classes of consumption goods in the fourth quarter of 1983, which was also the sixth quarter of the Ninth Three-Year Plan. Today’s issue contained a statement of the actual output, from which it appeared that the forecasts were in every instance grossly wrong. Winston’s job was to rectify the original figures by making them agree with the later ones.”

“As soon as all the corrections which happened to be necessary in any partiucular number of the Times had been assembled and collated, that number would be reprinted, the original copy destroyed, and the corrected copy placed on the files in it’s stead. This process of continuation alteration was applied not only to newspapers, but to books, periodicals, pamphlets, posters, leaflets, films, sound tracks, cartoons, photographs–to every kind of literature or documentation which might conceivably hold any political or ideological significance. Day by day and almost minute by minute the past was brought up to date. In this way every prediction made by the Party could be shown by documentary evidence to be correct; nor was any item of news, or expression of opinion, which conflicted with the needs of the moment, ever allowed to be on record.”

“We control life, Winston, at all its levels. You are imagining that there is something called human nature which will be outraged by what we do and will turn against us. But we create human nature. Men are infinitely malleable.”

Thank God for the life of George Orwell.






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