LISTEN: Orwell's "1984" - reality in the age of Trump

LISTEN: Orwell's "1984" - reality in the age of Trump

Postby Oscar » Fri Feb 03, 2017 8:53 pm

LISTEN: Orwell's 1984 eerily parallels reality in the age of Trump, says author

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Friday February 03, 2017

When White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said Donald Trump's press secretary Sean Spicer "gave alternative facts" when explaining this year's inauguration as the biggest in history, her words may have sounded familiar.

Perhaps something straight out of George Orwell' classic dystopian novel 1984.

John Sutherland, author of the book Orwell's Nose, tells The Current's guest host Nora Young that alternative facts is something Winston Smith, the tragic hero in 1984, could relate to.

"It's his business to put uncomfortable facts down the oblivion hole and recreate new facts, what we would now call alternative facts," says Sutherland who adds fabrication was necessary for the state to control the past and future.

"Orwell believed that in fact fabricating history was the way in which tyrannize consolidated the tyranny."

Director of the Orwell prize Jean Seaton recently re-read 1984 and says her experience was very different from when she first read the novel earlier in her life.

"It doesn't feel distant to me anymore," says Seaton.

"It feels as if that's where I'm living. I am living in this new territory in which people think they can play with reality and get away with it."

Sutherland agrees that our world is increasingly fictional and it seems now "we have to turn to fiction to find out what the facts are."

He argues that one of the dangers we're facing in the Trump age is a sense that "we have a monopoly of right thinking."

"And there are these great masses — I mean Trump is still supported by a majority of the American people — somehow they don't get it."


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5 things George Orwell understood - April 24, 2016

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Famed author implores us to be vigilant, and to keep the faiths of decency, tolerance and humanity

By Steve Wadhams, CBC News Posted: Apr 24, 2016 5:00 AM ET| Last Updated: Apr 24, 2016 5:00 AM ET

"Big Brother is watching you" is George Orwell's most famous line from his most famous book. But there's so much more to the man who gave us terms like "doublethink," "thoughtcrime" and "newspeak"; Orwell reminds us there's a connection between clarity of language and truth.

That's why he implores us to be vigilant, to be on guard for freedom, and to keep the faith: the triple faiths of decency, tolerance and humanity.

ORWELL Tapes: Parts 1, 2 and 3


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1984 sales soar after Trump claims, alternative facts

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January 25, 2017

"First published in 1949, Orwell's classic dystopian tale of a society in which facts are distorted and suppressed in a cloud of "newspeak" topped the bestseller list of as of Tuesday evening and the publisher has ordered an additional 75,000 copies."
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