George Orwell and bending the Bible for our own purposes

George Orwell

Florence King once called George Orwell “Every conservative’s favorite liberal and every liberal’s favorite conservative.” Why? Conservatives invoke his critiques of totalitarianism. Progressives appeal to his attacks on reactionary politics. Orwell is easily bent to many ends -- like the Bible.Here's an enlightening quote from a review in The New Statesman:Since whoever we are (save for a few sad Leninists) we all agree with George Orwell, it usually follows that Orwell must agree w … [Read more...]

No ideas in a vacuum

George Orwell

Ideas don’t exist in a vacuum. I was reminded of this while flipping through George Orwell’s collected essays and saw a jab he took at C.S. Lewis in a 1944 issue of the leftist Tribune. His beef was with Lewis’ collected radio talks, Beyond Personality, what eventually became the final portion of Mere Christianity.Orwell characterized Lewis as enjoying some “vogue at this moment,” which permitted him to offer “chummy little wireless talks.” But Orwell saw these chummy talks and books as subv … [Read more...]

Book-banning in a digital age

Oceana flag from '1984'

Last week Amazon deleted copies of George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four and Animal Farm from some of their customers' Kindles.This has happened before. In June, Amazon deleted some Ayn Rand titles. And it's happened with Harry Potter titles as well. Amazon's defense is pretty believable; they said the copies were pirated and that they were only acting to protect intellectual property. But as Farhad Manjoo at Slate says, "The Orwell incident was too rich with irony to escape … [Read more...]


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