Orwell George


George Orwell


25 June 1903 – 21 January 1950

Eric Arthur Blair

better known by his pen name George Orwell, was an English author and journalist. His work is marked by keen intelligence and wit, a profound awareness of social injustice, an intense, revolutionary opposition to totalitarianism, a passion for clarity in language and a belief in democratic socialism.

Considered perhaps the twentieth century's best chronicler of English culture,Orwell wrote fiction, polemical journalism, literary criticism and poetry. He is best known for the dystopian novel
Nineteen Eighty-Four (published in 1949) and
the satirical novella Animal Farm (1945).

They have together sold more copies than any two books by any other twentieth-century author. His Homage to Catalonia (1938), an account of his experiences as a volunteer on the Republican side during the Spanish Civil War, together with his numerous essays on politics, literature, language and culture, are widely acclaimed.

Orwell's influence on contemporary culture, popular and political, continues. Several of his neologisms, along with the term Orwellian, now a byword for any draconian or manipulative social phenomenon or concept inimical to a free society, have entered the vernacular.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !



. George Orwell


Haiku and Senryu

big brother
is watching you

nineteen eighty four -
I wonder when reality
overtook !?

George Orwell -
if only he could see us

Gabi Greve


Contribution from Chen-ou Liu, Canada:

I wrote an essay on Orwell, and it was titled
Newspeak: A Vision of the World.

There are known knowns...
Orwell’s Newspeak lingers
in my mind

L1 refers to the opening words of a statement made by Rumsfeld on February 12, 2002 at a press briefing where he addressed the absence of evidence linking the government of Iraq with the supply of weapons of mass destruction to terrorist groups.

[T]here are known knowns; there are things we know we know.
We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know.
But there are also unknown unknowns – the ones we don't know we don't know.

For further information, read the Wikipedia entry entitled
There are known knowns.

The following is a relevant excerpt from my abovementioned essay:

Behind all of Orwell's relentless criticisms of totalitarian society, there is a troubling, yet neglected outcry that the real threat is to human language and, thus, to human reason and even worse to the human soul. Certainly, the horrifying implications, though taken to the extreme, of Newspeak point out this central theme. Orwell, like many other literary scholars, is interested in the modern use of language and, in particular, the abuse and misuse of English.

The language crisis is clearly expressed at the outset of his essay entitled Politics and the English Language, which states that better use of language facilitates better development in politics, and ultimately, makes a better world:

"A man may take to drink because he feels himself to be a failure, and then fail all the more completely because he drinks. It is rather the same thing that is happening to the English language. It becomes ugly and inaccurate because our thoughts are foolish, but the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts."

Today, in political language, always bursting with catch phrases and slogans, Orwell foresees the particular threat: "Such phrases will construct your sentences for you—even think your thoughts for you, to a certain extent—and at need they will perform the important service of partially concealing your meaning even from yourself . . .. A speaker who uses that kind of phraseology has gone some distance toward turning himself into a machine."

In Nineteen Eighty-Four, Orwell vividly depicts this kind of machine-like humanness, “This was not a real human being but some kind of dummy. It was not the man’s brain that was speaking, it was his larynx. The stuff that was coming out of him consisted of words, but it was not speech in the true sense: it was a noise uttered in unconsciousness, like the quacking of a duck.” The implication of men becoming “machines,” serves as Orwell’s darkest forecast, quite illuminating in our technology-obsessed culture.


the glow
on facecrime suspect's face...
low-hanging cold moon

Facecrime is described in the following passage from Part 1, Chapter 5:

It was terribly dangerous to let your thoughts wander when you were in any public place or within range of a telescreen. The smallest thing could give you away. A nervous tic, an unconscious look of anxiety, a habit of muttering to yourself -- anything that carried with it the suggestion of abnormality, of having something to hide. In any case, to wear an improper expression on your face (to look incredulous when a victory was announced, for example) was itself a punishable offence.
There was even a word for it in Newspeak: facecrime, it was called.


marching students
shout it out loud, Black Is White
winter sky

L2 refers to a Newspeak word called Blackwhite, which is defined as follows:

“ ...this word has two mutually contradictory meanings. Applied to an opponent, it means the habit of impudently claiming that black is white, in contradiction of the plain facts. Applied to a Party member, it means a loyal willingness to say that black is white when Party discipline demands this.
But it means also the ability to believe that black is white, and more, to know that black is white, and to forget that one has ever believed the contrary. This demands a continuous alteration of the past, made possible by the system of thought which really embraces all the rest, and which is known in Newspeak as doublethink."

Related words

***** Personal Names used in Haiku

***** Introducing Japanese Haiku Poets 


No comments: