How 1984 Killed George Orwell

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George Orwell, who died at the age of 46, was one of the most influential writers of the twentieth century, and arguably, given the way the Bush administration adopted many of Big Brother’s tactics, the twenty-first as well. A google search for the terms “Bush” and “Orwellian” returns upwards of 2.1 million hits. But the book almost wasn’t completed, and Orwell’s push to get it done probably did him in. The story is too long to properly excerpt–go read the whole thing.


Brian Spears is Senior Poetry Editor of The Rumpus and the author of A Witness in Exile (Louisiana Literature Press, 2011). His poem “Upon Reading That Andromeda Will One Day Devour Triangulum and Come For Us Next” was featured in Season 9 of Motion Poems. More from this author →