If Orwell Had Entered the Contest

by George Orwell

He was already dead, he reflected. It seemed to him that it was only now, when he had begun to be able to formulate his thoughts, that he had taken the decisive step. The consequences of every act are included in the act itself. He wrote:

Thoughtcrime does not entail death: thoughtcrime IS death.

Now he had recognized himself as a dead man it became important to stay alive as long as possible. Two fingers of his right hand were inkstained. It was exactly the kind of detail that might betray you. Some nosing zealot in the Ministry (a woman, probably: someone like the little sandy-haired woman or the dark-haired girl from the Fiction Department) might start wondering why he had been writing during the lunch interval, why he had used an oldfashioned pen, what he had been writing—and then drop a hint in the appropriate quarter. He went to the bathroom and carefully scrubbed the ink away with the gritty dark-brown soap which rasped your skin like sandpaper and was therefore well adapted for this purpose.

He put the diary away in the drawer. It was quite useless to think of hiding it, but he could at least make sure whether or not its existence had been discovered. A hair laid across the page-ends was too obvious. With the tip of his finger he picked up an identifiable grain of whitish dust and deposited it on the corner of the cover, where it was bound to be shaken off if the book was moved.



Written in 1948, 1984 was George Orwell’s chilling prophecy about the future. And while 1984 has come and gone, Orwell’s narrative is more timely that ever. 1984 presents a “negative utopia,” that is at once a startling and haunting vision of the world—so powerful that it is completely convincing from start to finish. No one can deny the power of this novel, its hold on the imaginations of entire generations of readers, or the resiliency of its admonitions—a legacy that seems to grow, not lessen, with the passage of time.

Click on the cover to visit the book's Amazon page.

4 comments:

Dino Parenti said...

The interrogation scene of the last third of the book is still one of the most haunting things I've ever read.

Wendy said...

I loved this book!

Christine Henderson said...

The term "utopia" was created by Sir Thomas Moore which was the title of his book. Track it down for an interesting read. It meant a place that doesn't exist. Yet many still hope for a "utopian" society.

Wendy said...

Christine, if you like that type of book you might want to check out some of most recent staff picks over at the main site. I picked two dystopians to add to the list.

http://lascauxreview.com/2013/03/staff-picks-treasures/