Posts Tagged: george orwell

There Is Simply No Time for This: Whose Streets? and Civil Rights Cinema

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It is unlikely I will see the US justice system evolve toward an egalitarian ideal in my lifetime. But Whose Streets? does offer a clearly visible North Star.

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This Week in Short Fiction

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Well, it’s been one week under the Trump administration, and already we are living in a land of “alternative facts.” After Kellyanne Conway used the term to defend Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s falsehoods regarding the inauguration crowd size on Sunday, the American people were, understandably, reminded of George Orwell’s 1984, and sales of the book […]

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Down, Out, and “Paved With Anguish”

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At the Guardian, Tim Cooke investigates why writers’ experiences with homelessness and destitution fascinates readers: So what is the attraction of being down and out? For some, the prospect of real, hard-hitting subject matter has proved irresistible, while for others the route to the streets has been paved with anguish. Historically, those who have deliberately flung […]

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Literary Cage Match

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At The Millions, Jonathan Gottschall compares his experience learning to cage fight with the struggles of being a writer, as “the writing game, like the fighting game, mostly ends in breakage”: Literary history is a history of victors. So stories about the struggles of well-known writers almost always follow the comforting arc of suffering redeemed. But what about […]

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The Rumpus Interview with John Reed

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John Reed discusses Snowball’s Chance, his parody of Animal Farm, and the lawsuits, debates, and discoveries that followed the book’s publication.

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Kamden Hilliard

The Saturday Rumpus Interview: Kamden Hilliard

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Survival is not always cute, politically responsible, mature, or sober. Survival is ramshackle, as is tolerance.

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1984 or 2016?

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For the Los Angeles Review of Books, Stephen Rohde gives a thorough and chilling analyzation of our current socio-political climate which highlights just how closely our world parallels the one that George Orwell predicted in his novel 1984: No one aware of post-9/11 society in the United States, England, Europe, and elsewhere can fail to […]

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The Rumpus Interview with Andrew Ervin

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Andrew Ervin discusses his debut novel, Burning Down George Orwell’s House, social media and writing, and how video games can serve as a way to understand the post-human world.

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The Rumpus Interview with Robert Repino

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Robert Repino talks about his debut novel, Mort(e), the publishing industry, science fiction and literary fiction, writing about religion, and how to write about complex chemical ant languages.

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Plain Speaker or Liar

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According to the Guardian, Dr. Luke Seaber of University College London has uncovered evidence in the London Metropolitan archives that confirms George “Orwell did indeed carry out, more or less as described, one of his ‘down-and-out’ experiments”: he went to jail, for 48 hours, on purpose. Still, Seaber claims that “the veracity” of Orwell’s journalism […]

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The Big Idea: Eula Biss

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On Immunity author Eula Biss speaks to Suzanne Koven about mythology, personal freedom, and the history of vaccines.

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The Rules are There

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In his new book The Sense of Style, brain scientist Steven Pinker calls for a relaxation of English grammar rules. While the Daily Beast’s review praises Pinker for rejecting the false dichotomy between prescriptive and descriptive grammar, the New Yorker argues that we need rules to communicate. No word yet on using the wrong version […]

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Creating New Words

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The act of creating new words helps make language more precise. George Orwell once proposed a ministry responsible for inventing new words for precisely that reason, explains  The Airship Daily. However, the shortcomings of language and the new words created for precision is the reliance on interpretation: However, coining new words won’t change the fact […]

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Literature as Ideal Propaganda

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During the Cold War, the CIA viewed literature as a potent tool to undermine the Soviet Union. Novels by George Orwell, Albert Camus, Vladimir Nabokov, and James Joyce were smuggled across borders. And, as Nick Romeo explains in the Atlantic, the CIA sought authentic works for its purposes. Doctor Zhivago, hardly a celebration of capitalism, […]

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The Partisan Review, Digitized

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The Partisan Review, printed from 1934 to 2004, marked 69 years of cultural history in the US, with notable contributors such as Hannah Arendt, James Baldwin, Samuel Beckett, Allen Ginsberg, Franz Kafka, Doris Lessing, George Orwell, Marge Piercy, Jean-Paul Sartre, Roger Shattuck, Susan Sontag, William Styron, Lionel Trilling, and Robert Penn Warren. Its whole archive […]

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Writers on Time Spent Down and Out

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George Orwell recounted his experiences with poverty in Down and Out in Paris and London, and Paul Auster his in Hand to Mouth: A Chronicle of Early Failure.  Rumpus contributor Kaya Genç writes about his own brush with running out of money, and how authors like Orwell and Auster informed his feelings about it, in an essay […]

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George Orwell’s Feminist Leanings

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We all know George Orwell was a brilliant storyteller and a canny satirist. Was he also a feminist? This Brain Pickings post highlights an entry from his diary in which he describes helping a housewife with the laundry: The position now-a-days is anomalous. The man is practically always out of work, whereas the woman occasionally […]

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Which Do You Spend More Money On: Ebooks or Lattes?

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In 1946, George Orwell wrote an essay called “Books vs. Cigarettes,” trying to figure out which habit cost him more and whether books were simply out of some people’s financial reach. For the Los Angeles Review of Books, Kaya Genç updates the calculations in an essay titled “Ebooks vs. Lattes” (he already quit smoking several years […]

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