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Posts Tagged ‘George Orwell’

’1984′ Becomes a Symbol of Protest in Thailand

1984George Orwell’s 1984 has become an object of controversy in Thailand.

Thrillist reports that tourists encountered a warning in a travel guide; displaying Orwell’s book in public could mark a reader as an “anti-coup protester.” In fact, a public screening of the 1984 movie adaptation was recently cancelled because the police had informed the organizers that their event would be considered an illegal political assembly.

Here’s more from The Bangkok Post: “One form of resistance to the coup has been ‘reader’ – individuals or small groups sitting on public walkways reading Orwell’s novel. Last week, protesters unfurled a giant poster of Gen Prayuth’s face with the words ‘Thailand 1984′ written below. Opponents of the new regime claim the book’s depiction of a dystopian state where authorities exert absolute control over the lives of citizens compares with Thailand today.”

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Free Writing Cheat Sheet

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Writers have been debating the Mike Shea‘s handy cheat sheet for writers this week.

The “Writing Tips” PDF collects George Orwell‘s writing rules, Edward Tufte‘s presentation rules, Strunk and White’s principles of composition and Robert Heinlein‘s writing rules in a single page you can keep on your writing desk.

What do you think? Do these writing rules help or hinder writers? Shea has published some helpful tutorials on eBook publishing as well.

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NYPL Library Shop Features ‘Book Pickings’ Window Display

The New York Public Library’s Stephen A. Schwarzman Building library shop currently features a “Book Pickings” window display. Brain Pickings blogger Maria Popova curated the display.

Popova enlisted artist Kelli Anderson to create 3-D sculptures of several beloved books. Some of the books spotlighted in this display include George Orwell’s Why I WriteAndrew Zuckerman’s Creature, and Maira Kalman’s What Pete Ate From A-Z.

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Elizabeth Keenan Promoted at Plume & Hudson Street Press

Elizabeth Keenan has been promoted to executive director of publicity at Plume and Hudson Street Press.

Keenan has worked on campaigns for the reboot of Anne Rice’s Sleeping Beauty trilogy, George Orwell’s 1984, and Sarah Jio’s The Violets of March.

A number of publishers have announced promotions for their staff members this past week.

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First Edition of George Orwell’s ’1984′ Sells for $3,000

As controversy about federal programs to monitor your Internet and cell phone activity, two first editions of George Orwell‘s Nineteen Eighty-Four have sold for impressive sums this week.

The books were sold on AbeBooks, and the company shared a bit of history about price ranges for the classic novel about a dystopian surveillance state. Check it out:

A first edition, first printing in a green dust jacket sold for $3,000 (about £1,913) and a first edition, first printing in the red dust jacket sold for $2,845 (about £1,814). It is uncertain whether the green or red version came first, so it’s common to see both books listed as the true first edition. The book was published in 1949 by Secker and Warburg and, of course, is one of the most important novels of the 20th century … In April of this year, AbeBooks sold another first edition, in a red dust jacket, of the book for $10,000 (£6,438) – easily the most expensive copy of Orwell’s masterpiece that we have ever sold.

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Andy Serkis to Direct & Act in Adaptation of Animal Farm by George Orwell

George Orwell’s Animal Farm will be adapted by The Imaginarium, a performance capture studio co-founded by Andy Serkis–the actor who portrayed Gollum in the Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit.

Serkis will direct and act in the Orwell adaptation. Serkis and Jonathan Cavendish opened the studio in 2011, making their mark with Rise of the Planet of the Apes.

Serkis had this statement in the release: ”We are delighted to officially announce our involvement in bringing this classic yet controversial fable to life, hopefully allowing it to resonate for our times with a combination of a fresh perspective, real emotional heart, a great deal of humor and satire … By utilizing performance capture, a deeply talented and committed cast of actors will be able to explore and fully inhabit Orwell’s fairy tale world where ‘some animals are more equal than others.’”

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Banned Book Trading Cards

To celebrate the 30th annual Banned Books Week, one library in Kansas has gotten artistic. The Lawrence Public Library has created the Banned Books Trading Cards project, a series of drawings inspired by banned books and authors created by local artists.

Each trading card is inspired by a banned book or author. There is one for each day of the week.  The week kicked off with an homage to George Orwell‘s Animal Farm (pictured right) created by artist Barry Fitzgerald, followed by an homage to Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut, drawn by Kent Smith. Today’s card by an artist known as Webmocker, celebrates John Updike’s Rabbit, Run.

Here is the artist’s statement: “Burning and otherwise destroying books being a favorite activity of censors, deconstruction seemed an appropriate approach to this tattered (literally falling apart as I read it) copy of Rabbit, Run.  Coincidentally, this book was purchased at the Friends of the Lawrence Public Library book sale.”

Do We Live in 1984 or a Brave New World?

In 1932, Aldous Huxley published Brave New World, a novel about an ominous future where the government keeps the population under control with drugs and entertainment. In 1949, George Orwell published Nineteen Eighty-Four, a novel about an ominous future where the government keeps the population under control with oppressive surveillance.

Who do you think had a more prophetic vision of the 21st Century? Today Letters of Note featured a long letter that Huxley (pictured, via) wrote to Orwell explaining why he thought future rulers would follow Brave New World more than Nineteen Eighty-Four.

Check it out: “Within the next generation I believe that the world’s rulers will discover that infant conditioning and narco-hypnosis are more efficient, as instruments of government, than clubs and prisons, and that the lust for power can be just as completely satisfied by suggesting people into loving their servitude as by flogging and kicking them into obedience. In other words, I feel that the nightmare of Nineteen Eighty-Four is destined to modulate into the nightmare of a world having more resemblance to that which I imagined in Brave New World. The change will be brought about as a result of a felt need for increased efficiency.” (Via Reddit)

Ernest Hemingway Photo Wins Paris Review Photoshop Contest

Jack Around has won the beach towel Photoshop contest at The Paris Review. The image embedded on the side showcases “Ernest Hemingway,” the winning photograph.

The winner edited six photos for the contest. The pictures feature highly prolific writers such as George Orwell, Sir Salman Rushdie and Vladimir Nabokov.

Here’s more from the announcement: “The entries were truly staggering in their creativity and execution … Like I said, this wasn’t easy—but we were not going to argue with a man pointing a gun at us.”

Cambridge History of the Cold War: GalleyCat Reviews

By Lawrence D. Freedman
Excerpted from Foreign Affairs

coldwar.jpg[In The Cambridge History of the Cold War, editor Odd Arne Westad] credits George Orwell with introducing the term in a 1945 essay on the meaning of the atomic bomb. Orwell wrote of the prospect “of two or three monstrous super-states, each possessed of a weapon by which millions of people can be wiped out in a few seconds, dividing the world between them…”

This new form of supreme power would lead to an uneasy standoff between states, with each in “a permanent state of cold war with its neighbors.” As he saw it, this would lead to more effective ways of controlling the world’s exploited classes and “a peace that is no peace” between “horribly stable…slave empires.”

Orwell feared that such an order could result in a system of universal totalitarianism like that in his dystopia, 1984. The idea that atomic bombs would rob the exploited “of all power to revolt” may not have appeared so far-fetched at the time given the totalitarianism seen in Nazi Germany and Stalin’s Soviet Union. Click here to keep reading…

In order to bring you the a broad range of range content, GalleyCat Reviews will excerpt quality reviews from select critical outlets, a program that debuted with Foreign Affairs.

Lawrence D. Freedman is Professor of War Studies at King’s College, London.

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