27 Mar

1984 and Brave New World

I read George Orwell‘s 1984 again last week. I enjoyed it greatly, but it is a work of it’s day and indeed the immediate past at the time of writing (1949). It is the twisting of truth that strikes you the most now, indeed the manipulation of people and society by media and doublethink is the key message for me.

On the other hand I also read Aldous Huxley‘s Brave New World, and that does strike me as a piece of actual prophesy. The nature of the society, with Fordism (or mass production) as the key driver to a society kept compliant on drugs and sex, has echoes on our Western world of the early 21st century.

Not that it is necessarily a dystopia. I am not at all sure Huxley thought it was wholly dystopian, but it definitely separates mankind from the mystical, and that was key for Huxley. For me? Well I quite liked the place as long as I could be an Alpha or Beta..

I am going to carry on having a look at this prophetic book idea, so have ordered Zamyatin‘s We which is apparently the book that influenced Orwell and Huxley, although Huxley is obviously satirising Wells utopianism (which is best seen in The Shape of Things To Come and before in other works.

I also read Ian Fleming‘s Casino Royale, and then we watched the recent film version. I have to say that the novel shows and much grimmer Bond, not as sure or smooth as the films to date, and the film did an excellent job of capturing that feel. Ann and Matt were not impressed, but I like this grittier Bond. Oddly it is in fact the original.