Orwell's Legacy

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George Orwell might have thought it was deja vu all over again in Baghdad. He’d already imagined, in his novel “1984,” a “black-mustachioed face” gazing down from every commanding corner, with the caption BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU.

You can’t help wondering if he might also have imagined the Pentagon’s plan to have an office of “Total Information Awareness.” Today people routinely talk of doublespeak, thought police and sex crimes, all terms invented by an English writer born one hundred years ago. A self-declared socialist, George Orwell died before the height of the Cold War, when he was embraced by the right as an anti-communist. What Orwell might think of us now.


John Rodden, author, “The Politics of Literary Reputation: The Making and Claiming of “St. George”
Orwell” and “Scenes from an Afterlife: The Legacy of George Orwell”

Daphne Patai, professor of Spanish and Portuguese literature at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, and author of “The Orwell Mystique: A Study in Male Ideology.”