Monday, 8 July 2013

Nineteen Eighty-Four - George Orwell


"I'm about to read Nineteen Eighty-Four," I would say. Those who hadn't read it would reply "What's that about?" Those who had read it all had the same reaction.
A sort of a shudder, a bit of a shrug, and a low "Oooooh."

Approaching a book knowing it is not going to be a joyful ride, knowing it will only end unhappily and knowing that you will be left feeling deflated is an interesting sensation.

To even begin, you require resolution and strength and then, as the end approaches, you need all the willpower you can muster to continue. Because you know. You know that all those hopeful fantasies you are harbouring will not come true...

I read it greedily but when the covers were closed and the book tight shut, I had to brace myself for the onslaught afresh. My mind raced with all the possibilities - I was on edge - I simply had to keep reading to know if any of my suspicions or hopes were close.

The energy consumed through trying to guess the end left me feeling empty once I reached it. But I think emptiness is what you are supposed to feel. Flat. Pancake-y.

"The comparisons with today's government are uncanny," I was told. It is true. Certain phrases and situations would case me to start and look up at the corners of my room for hidden cameras while my mind raced wildly to the life I am living and the current state of the world.

I had only read one third of the book before the bleak dreams began. Thoughtcrime. Inability to say what I want. Inability to think what I want. Hidden emotions. War. Big Brother. "This book is fucking me up more than I expected," I would say to anyone who would listen, "what am I going to be like by the time I reach the end?"

Nothing happened.
Emptiness happened.

Here's wishing George Orwell a happy birthday. I know what I'm going to be doing this weekend. All the crime. Sexcrime. Thoughtcrime.

Just in case it is outlawed tomorrow...