Category Archives: Culture

Nothing but the truth: the legacy of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four

Every generation turns to it in times of political turmoil, and this extract from a new book about the novel examines its relevance in the age of fake news and Trump

Read other extracts from the book:
• David Bowie’s Orwell: how Nineteen Eighty-Four shaped Diamond Dogs
• ‘He typed in bed in his dressing gown’: how Orwell wrote Nineteen Eighty-Four

December 1948. A man sits at a typewriter, in bed, on a remote island, fighting to complete the book that means more to him than any other. He is terribly ill. The book will be finished and, a year or so later, so will the man.

January 2017. Another man stands before a crowd, which is not as large as he would like, in Washington DC, taking the oath of office as the 45th president of the United States of America. His press secretary says that it was the “largest audience to ever witness an inauguration – period – both in person and around the globe”. Asked to justify such a preposterous lie, the president’s adviser describes the statement as “alternative facts”. Over the next four days, US sales of the dead man’s book will rocket by almost 10,000%, making it a No 1 bestseller.

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