The Classics Spin results were in on Monday, and my lucky number’s 4 — 1984!
I’ve already started reading, and it’s so fascinating to realize how this novel has completely worked its way into our psyche and language. Who hasn’t referred to (or felt!) Big Brother watching (hello, NSA!). Thought Police. Newspeak. Doublethink. It grabbed me from the very first sentence, and it doesn’t feel one minute dated.
I’ve read 1984 in college, but I put this book on my Classics Club list after taking a history class in 2008 on Europe from World War II to the Present (which was one of the best classes I’ve ever taken in my life! SO glad a non-US history course is a prerequisite for teacher certification!). Although we read tons of history, our professor also tied in so much literature in brief, tantalizing bits. My reading list since taking the class has been filled with books he referenced, and 1984 was one of them. I remember so clearly sitting in my cramped seat drinking Earl Grey tea, talking about totalitarianism, and reading an excerpt from 1984 — I was so struck (and chilled) by how valid it was not only to our discussion, but to things going on in the recent past and present.
While many critics call Orwell a prophet, Walter Cronkite (really) in my edition’s excellent and concise introduction (really) calls it not so much a prediction as a warning, and I have to agree with him. We can all use this warning. (!) I expect to be very disturbed after finishing this book (and will tell you allllllll about it right here 😉
Also, for atmosphere:
…and because I can’t help it being the tea freak that I am, Orwell’s essay on A Nice Cup of Tea. Not that I agree with all of it (I love a little sugar in my Indian tea!).