Saturday, April 23, 2022

A little something for the weekend?

It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen. Winston Smith, his chin muzzled into his breast in an effort to escape the vile wind, slipped quickly through the glass doors of Victory Mansions, though not quickly enough to prevent a swirl of gritty dust from entering along with him.

The hallway smelt of boiled cabbage and old rag mats. At one end of it a colored poster, too large for indoor display, had been tacked to the wall. It depicted simply an enormous face, more than a meter wide: the face of a man of about forty-five, with a heavy black mustache and ruggedly handsome features. 

No, it was not Freddie Mercury. It was Big Brother, and if you have not by now recognized this as the opening of George Orwell’s 1984, shame on you. I think every April should be National Re-read 1984 Month, and instead of watching a movie this weekend, why don’t you do something really radical and subversive and read a book

Personally, I recommend that you read 1984, if you haven’t already, or re-read it, if you haven’t read it since you were in school. If I ever teach a course that attempts to talk about all that is good, brilliant, and important about science fiction, 1984 will be on the required reading list. 

Now go thou and read. And remember:





Invictus said...

Better get a physical copy, though; for some reason, the e-versions from Amazon disappear every now and then...

~brb said...

Only when some would-be publisher assumes the book is in the public domain and releases an e-book edition without getting permission from Orwell's estate. This is one of these cases where international copyright law is a mess. The book has been in the public domain in Canada and Australia for a few years; in the EU since 2020; in the UK since 2021; but doesn't go out of copyright in the US until 2044.

~brb said...

Which is why, when you can't find a particular old book in e-book form on Amazon, it's sometimes worth looking for it on Project Gutenberg Australia.