Blogging “1984”

I went to my roommate’s bookshelf the other day looking for some good fiction.  I walked away with George Orwell’s “1984.”

I’ll admit, it didn’t hit me right away; but by the time I got to the door, I was laughing so hard I had to hold on to the wall for support.  Fiction…1984…oh, Cosmo, you kill me!

At this point, I must offer a confession, and ask that the high priests of political philosophy and liberalism forgive me my transgression:  truth be told, I’ve never read 1984 cover-to-cover.  I started to read it for a U.S. History project in 11th grade, but the availability of information about the book overwhelmed whatever sense of duty I felt toward either my teacher or my education, and I Sparks-Note-d my way through an easy two page plot summary without much of a second thought.

I half-swore to myself to read the book later on, perhaps in college (where, I’d gathered, people would be talking about it).  As it’s turned out, the world has filled me in on most of the story and the concepts Orwell used to make it tick.  I know about Newspeak, thoughtcrime, doublethink, etc.  But I’ve yet to see them in action, in the book itself.

So, here’s my idea:  I’m going to read 1984 and blog my reactions as I go.  Since I’m also an election junkie, I’ll pay special attention to the ways in which the book can be used to make sense of how today’s campaigns alternately employ and attempt to counteract one another’s use of the political, ideological, and (dare I say?) epistemological tools that govern Orwell’s classic, dystopian vision of the world to come.

My sense is that this should be both valuable and a hell of a lot of fun.  Let’s see how it goes.

1 Response to “Blogging “1984””

  1. 1 spacestationblaney
    September 16, 2008 at 8:14 pm

    the joke is that 1984 seems to become less and less fictional as time goes on. was orwell really that prescient, or has his work simply been adopted as the playbook? chicken/egg?

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