The thing that he was about to do was open a diary....
Winston fitted a nib into the penholder
and sucked it to get the grease off....
He dipped the pen into the ink
and then faltered for just a second....

WINSTON DIARY BEGAN APRIL 4TH

In small clumsy letters he wrote:
April 4th, 1984

To Orwell Today,
subject: the clock struck 13

just want to say, love the site orwelltoday, wish i was clever enough to put together a site like this....

been a fan of orwell for a long time, currently working my way through 1984 (5th time) and a book on his essays and writings, next after that is the road to wigan pier in which orwell discusses the struggle of the poorer classes of the english north in his time (i think as much, as i've not read it, but read the back, it sits on my shelf in anticipation, waiting its turn to be read)

....i was searching the site today because in my book/journal/diary i started the page "the clocks are not striking 13, and it's not 1984 in calendar terms...but it is april 4th, and orwellian in style"....

...i did this because i was reminded of the date in town today, when in a second hand oxfam charity book shop, i came across a "dictionary of newspeak".......that the author attributes to 1984 and orwell's ideas of newspeak......i just guess it's fate that today's april 4th and i found this book today

i look forward to examining your site in detail. if you feel like a chat with a 24 year old male from england, let me know

keep up the good work
Nath-

Greetings Nath,

I guess it's fate for me too that I received your email today -- April 4th, 2008 -- because when I looked at the date this morning and saw that it was "April 4th" it rang a bell in my mind but I didn't remember for what.

Then, lo and behold, arrives your email, reminding me that "April 4th" is a very significant Orwell date -- it being the day Winston started writing in his diary -- and so OF COURSE that would be why that mental bell of mine was ringing!:

"It was a bright cold day in April,
and the clocks were striking thirteen....
He went into the living room and sat down at a small table...
From the table drawer he took out a penholder, a bottle of ink, and
a thick, quarto-sized blank book with a red back and a marbled cover....
It was a peculiarly beautiful book....
He had seen it lying in the window of a frowsy little junk-shop...
and had been stricken immediately by an overwhelming desire to possess it.
At the time he was not conscious of wanting it for any particular purpose....
The thing that he was about to do was open a diary....
Winston fitted a nib into the penholder and sucked it to get the grease off....
He dipped the pen into the ink and then faltered for just a second....
In small clumsy letters he wrote:

April 4th, 1984

He sat back....
For whom, it suddenly occurred to him to wonder, was he writing this diary?...
For the future, for the unborn?....
How could you communicate with the future?...
Either the future would resemble the present,
in which case it would not listen to him:
or it would be different from it, and
his predicament would be meaningless."

It's godcidental that you went into that second-hand store today and found the Orwell book (just like Winston in the junk-shop found the diary) and then went home and put two plus two together and got April 4th and then did a search and found "Orwell Today" and then - before the day was out in England - wrote to tell me it was April 4th so that before the day ends here in Canada - eight hours behind you - I can point the April 4th date out to all the Orwell readers.

Thanks a million, I really appreciate it.

It could be that Orwell chose April 4th as the date for Winston to start his diary in remembrance of his wife Eileen. She had died on March 29th, 1945, while Orwell was away in Europe as a war correspondent for the Observer newspaper. The last word in the unfinished letter she'd been writing him before she died was "clock" which is found in the first sentence of "1984"....Her funeral was on April 3rd and in "1984" Winston starts his diary the day after, on April 4th.

It's great to have you as a reader of the site and please do write any time, and at LEAST once a year - every April 4th.

All the best,
Jackie Jura

...MORE APRIL 4 DIARIES


CHESTNUT CAFE & DIARY SYMBOLISM (...The symbolism of Winston's "diary" is that really it is Orwell's "book" - 1984 - that is being written because Winston is really Orwell. Just as Winston knew that the penalty for writing his diary would be death, so too did Orwell know that the price he'd pay for writing 1984 would be death. In Winston's case it was death from the "thought police" whereas in Orwell's case it was death through pushing his body beyond human endurance by living in cold, damp, northern Scotland to get the isolation he needed in order to write the book that would tell the world everything he'd learned about the secret organization that was planning to rule the world in exactly the way Winston described it in his diary. Remember, Winston was writing his diary to people "in the future or in the past, to a time when thought is free" as a warning and to help them avoid it happening to them. So too was Orwell writing his book to people in the present and in the future (knowing he'd be dead) so that they would read it and be warned...)

HOW ORWELL NAMED 1984

1.Winston's Diary and 2.Big Brother and 45.Chestnut Tree Cafe

Jackie Jura
~ an independent researcher monitoring local, national and international events ~

email: orwelltoday@gmail.com
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website: www.orwelltoday.com