“Who controls the past, controls the future: who controls the present, controls the past…
“The mutability of the past is the central tenet of Ingsoc. Past events, it is argued, have no objective existence, but survive only in written records and in human memories.
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 its members, it follows that the past is whatever the Party chooses to make it. It also follows that though the past is alterable, it never has been altered in any specific instance. For when it has
been recreated in whatever shape is needed at the moment, then this new version IS the past, and no different past can ever have existed.”
— from George Orwell’s “Nineteen Eighty-Four”
Photo credit: By Nevil Clavain – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=76575596
House on the island of Jura occupied by George Orwell when writing the novel “Nineteen Eighty-Four.”
Not if you’d rather read it for free, that is.
I keep reading that it raced to the top of various bestseller lists at the end of January. (And I can’t imagine why.) That’s just great, but it’s also available to read for free at various places online.
Here’s one: Nineteen Eighty-Four.
“It was always at night — the arrests invariably happened at night. The sudden jerk out of sleep, the rough hand shaking your shoulder, the lights glaring in your eyes, the ring of hard faces round the bed. In the vast majority of cases there was no trial, no report of the arrest. People simply disappeared, always during the night. Your name was removed from the registers, every record of everything you had ever done was wiped out, your one-time existence was denied and then forgotten. You were abolished, annihilated: VAPORIZED was the usual word.
“For a moment he was seized by a kind of hysteria. He began writing in a hurried untidy scrawl:
“they’ll shoot me i don’t care they’ll shoot me in the back of the neck i don’t care down with big brother they always shoot you in the back of the neck i don’t care down with big brother ——”
“Even the humblest Party member is expected to be competent, industrious, and even intelligent within narrow limits, but it is also necessary that he should be a credulous and ignorant fanatic whose prevailing moods are fear, hatred, adulation, and orgiastic triumph.”
— from George Orwell’s “1984”