1984 (Signet Classic)

1984 - George Orwell, Erich Fromm Group read for Cocaine Pages!

Talking to her, he realized how easy it was to present an appearance of orthodoxy while having no gras whatever of what orthodoxy meant. In a way, the world-view of the Party imposed itself most succesfully on people incapable of understanding it. They could be made to accept the most flagrant violations of reality, because they never fully grasped the enormity of what was demanded of them, and were not sufficiently interestedin public events to notice what was happening. By lack of understanding they remained sane. They simply sallowed everything, and what they swallwed did them no harm, because it left no residue behind, just as a grain of corn will pass undigested through the body of a bird.

Reading this book has not been the massive experience I thought/hoped it would be. As Tara from my group called it, it was a dry read, not one made more beautiful by literrary effects. But I think that was the point. That was the whole idea. How can you talk beautifully about something so ugly and represent it the same? No, the writing itself must be in theme with what is happening.

1984 is pure, cruel imagery. I don't know if it's just because of my imagination or I'm the only one who felt this, but it's a powerful book no just in terms of “what-could-be”, but also in terms of “what-is”. Not just “what-ifs”, but more like coming to terms with the fact that some of those “what-ifs” are already here.

I'm not saying our world is 1984esque. But it's not that far either. It's already started on that slope and if we start going faster and faster, who can guarantee we won't end up like that?

Along the book, I met tons and tons of greatly written lines, of thoughts that were also mine, but in different shapes. As Allan Bennett says in The History Boys says: “The best moments in reading are when you come across something - a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things - which you had thought special and particular to you. And now, here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out, and taken yours.” .

Here are some of the parts that I really really really really (a thousand really's) liked:

Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power.

He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.

The best books... are those that tell you what you know already.

To die hating them, that was freedom.

And many, many others...

I found this book amazing, and I wish to read it again soon. It's true, it's harsh, it's crude, yes, but it speaks of freedom and love and humanity. So yeah, my kind of book.