The Daily

Posts Tagged ‘George Orwell’

Poets Without Clothes, and Other News

April 18, 2013 | by

tumblr_mldq4nlKZe1soverao1_1280

  • Talk about truth in advertising: meet Poets Without Clothes. [NSFW]
  • Check out this nifty animation of a 1996 DFW interview.
  • George Orwell’s northern Indian birthplace is being turned into a memorial … for Gandhi.
  • What are libraries doing with old books? Lots of things.
  • Pew: “About seven in ten of those who used a library over a twelve-month period did so to borrow print books or to browse the shelves.”
  •  

    NO COMMENTS

    Animal Farm Timeline

    April 12, 2013 | by

    Cover of Snowball's Chance, 2002. Cover of Why Orwell Matters, 2002.

    Cover of Snowball’s Chance, 2002. Cover of Why Orwell Matters, 2002.

    Timeline to this Timeline

    September 9, 2001, I’m walking down Lafayette Street with my wife. We’re close to my apartment, with the Tribeca sky, the sky of my youth, hovering above our destination. I have a title idea. “Snowball’s Chance,” I say, “there’s something to it.” She isn’t so sure.

    Then, 9/11. Then, 9/13, I understand the title. Animal Farm. Snowball returns to the farm, bringing capitalism, which has its own pitfalls. I’ll turn the Cold War allegory on its head—apply Orwell’s thinking to what had happened in the fifty years since the end of World War II. Three weeks later I have a clean draft.

    I start to think about publication, and run into a bump: the feeling in the publishing world, in the entertainment world, is that parody is about to lose its protected status in the United States. Several major lawsuits are underway (2 Live Crew, The Wind Done Gone), copyright has been extended indefinitely for major corporations, and the Supreme Court has never looked more conservative. Given the climate, and that parody is not protected in the United Kingdom, the Orwell estate announces itself “hostile” to my manuscript. The book is nevertheless released in 2002 (by a small but longstanding press, Roof Books), and supported in part by a state grant. At the same moment I see fit to attack Animal Farm as a Cold War allegory—an allegory that I see as conservative, xenophobic, and a bludgeon for radical thinking—Christopher Hitchens, who has taken a sharp turn to the right, sees the need to defend it. In Why Orwell Matters, also published in 2002, Hitchens attempted to apply Orwell’s later-life “Cold War,” a term he popularized, to a stance against terrorism. The media picks up on Hitchens, and Snowball as a counterpoint, and the books are accordingly praised or derided.

     

    1879–1880

    Nikolai Kostomarov, Stamp of Ukraine, 1992.

    Nikolai Kostomarov, Stamp of Ukraine, 1992.

    Nikolai Kostomarov (1817–1885) pens his story Animal Riot, a farmyard allegory that takes as its analog a hypothetical Russian revolution. A century later, in 1988, the English-language Economist will compare Kostomarov’s 8,500-word story to George Orwell’s 20,000-word Russian Revolution allegory, Animal Farm (which, unlike Animal Riot, ends badly), finding numerous points of comparison. For example, a bull in Animal Riot:

    Read More »

    10 COMMENTS

    Orwell at the BBC, and Other News

    January 24, 2013 | by

  • It was all the rage! On the eighteenth-century literary vogue for suicides.
  • “It’s pretty much all hopeless,” and other advice on writing a memoir. (Personally, I would say: throw in a few recipes.)
  • Nineteen Eighty-Four has never been dramatized by BBC Radio 4 before now. Why? Maybe this has something to do with it: “Orwell partly based the book’s torture area, Room 101, on a meeting room in the building he remembered from his time at the BBC.”
  • “The day will come when there’ll be private publishing houses in the Soviet Union.” A previously unpublished interview with Joseph Brodsky.

  • 3 COMMENTS

    Parsing Middle Earth Contract, and Other News

    January 22, 2013 | by

  • Listen to contemporary masters such as Charles Baxter and Siri Hustvedt read ten Sherwood Anderson stories.
  • “Most of the topography turns out to be relatively straightforward. The Ministry of Truth, where Winston Smith sits falsifying back-numbers of the Times, is the University of London’s Senate House building in Malet Street. Big Brother’s statue in Trafalgar Square, now rechristened ‘Victory Square,’ adorns the plinth previously reserved for Nelson, while the waxworks museum on the square’s eastern side, where visitors queue to inspect tableaux of military atrocities, is the Church of St Martin-in-the-Fields put to sinister propagandist use.” Mapping 1984.
  • “So far the dwarves haven’t committed any unsalvageable drafting errors or done anything that might jeopardize the validity of the contract.” A lawyer examines the dwarves’ contract from The Hobbit.
  • “Write drunk,” and other (questionable?) advice from famous writers.

  • NO COMMENTS

    1984, and Other News

    January 8, 2013 | by

  • Check out the new 1984 cover. What do you think?
  • The Thomas Pynchon rumors: a breakdown.
  • How should Shakespeare really sound?
  • New Yorkers are spending more time in libraries … but not to read.
  • Love it or leave it, this is our world: Neruda Cats.
  •  

     

     

     

    4 COMMENTS

    Pricey Real Estate, Cool Bookshelves

    October 24, 2012 | by

  • We love a cool bookshelves roundup.
  • Animal Farm, the movie: begin your dream-cast YouTube videos now, please.
  • New (well, unheard, anyway) audio clips of Flannery O’Connor.
  • Buy (or look at) the Mediterranean villa where Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald allegedly stayed and wrote. Whatever, it has its own discotheque.
  • How to write a novel in thirty days, should one have a furious gangster on one’s case or something. (Or should one wish to participate in NaNoWriMo.)

  • 2 COMMENTS