1984 A LOVE STORY
To Orwell Today,
re: DAILY ORWELL 1984 READINGS
With your indulgence, I thought I’d take a moment to explain my attraction to Nineteen Eighty-Four - and to provide the context for my recent submission. Several years ago a teacher, with whom I spoke about Nineteen Eighty-Four, said it was a challenge to get his students to read the novel. When I asked, Why? he pointed to the book’s difficult language and concepts. I thereupon suggested that he present the book as a love story. He had literally never thought of the love dimension.
If many (especially younger) readers were to parachute into the novel and land in ‘The Book’ of Goldstein, I suspect they might be bored and repelled. However, if they landed on page 113 and read, “I love you,” the emotional response might be quite different. And that is precisely how I see 1984 — a love story. What happens when forbidden love — between Winston and Julia (whose name I understand comes from another great love story — Romeo and Juliet) is overshadowed by the State?
The jacket of my Penguin Books copy states: “When Winston finds love with Julia, he discovers that life does not have to be dull and deadening, and awakens to new possibilities. Despite the police helicopters that hover and circle overhead, Winston and Julia begin to question the Party; they are drawn towards conspiracy. Yet Big Brother will not tolerate dissent — even in the mind.”...
My initial interest in the novel was actually sparked by the brilliant and prolific writer Hans Sherrer: “By day, Winston and Julia were dutiful government employees who appeared to obey the innumerable rules of the authoritarian state they lived in. By night, however, they engaged in an unapproved love relationship in a room they had rented without government approval. Unbeknownst to Winston and Julia, the authorities were monitoring their illicit affair and they were eventually arrested and imprisoned.”.
When I read my daily Orwell texts I think of all that I love — and of all the things that threaten that love. Come to that, a song I wrote, titled “Apocalyptic World” — based in part on Nineteen Eighty-Four — carries the same theme — threat from people in power who use their power to diminish and hurt us:
“I walk in the vale of deep shadow,
The shadow’s cast by you.
Nothing I love will remain,
By the time that you are through.
My eyes are full of smoke and mirrors,
My ears are full of sham,
My soul is full of bitterness,
In your necrophilic land.
Where did you come from,
Where can I run to?
I’ve had a taste of your ‘world to come’
The ‘Golden Country’ and ‘Room 101’
A world of ‘proles’ and ‘telescreens’
All life degraded in your machine’"
Having read your bio Jackie I believe that we share much with Winston Smith — a love of life, humanity, truth, the planet, and all the species with whom we share this majestic blue sphere. My hope is that readers will also make room for the lens of love when they peruse Orwell's magnum opus.
Bye for now,
Carman de Voer
Thanks for the loving thoughts - and poem - on Orwell's labour of love to humanity.
All the best,
JULIA'S FATE & WINSTON & JULIA COINCIDENCES & WINSTON & JULIA SONG & WINSTON & JULIA
26.Julia & Rebellion & 29.Risking Renting Room & 30.Love Instinct & Family & 31.Love Nest & 32.Enemies of the Party & 37.We Are The Dead & 43.Winston Talks In Sleep & 45.Chestnut Tree Cafe
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