1984: War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength
Arnon Grunberg & Gerlinda Heywegen
Writers Unlimited presented the filmprogram 1984: War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength. The world-famous dystopian future novel Nineteen Eighty-Four (aka 1984) by George Orwell from 1949 and its film adaptions give a gloomy world view, which is regularly referred to even now, in "corona times". With quotes and film fragments, novelist, columnist, essayist, poet and screenwriter Arnon Grunberg and film editor of Writers Unlimited Gerlinda Heywegen discussed 1984.
"The past was erased, the erasure was forgotten, the lie became the truth." - 1984
Increasing government control, fake news, hoaxes, algorithms lead to confusion and even revolt. How current is Nineteen Eighty-Four after more than seventy years? Are "we" in 2021 being controlled to such an extent that it can lead to a 1984? Does technological progress make it possible and is our world capable of it? What does Orwell's research of humanity mean for our time?
"In 1984 there is a very powerful element in which the government can create an alternative reality," says Michael Newton, lecturer in English literature at Leiden University. "The truth becomes something pliable, which you can prescribe an alternative version of." - nu.nl
The 1984 television adaptation was first broadcast by the BBC on December 12, 1954, and then repeated live on December 16. Viewers were shocked by Orwell's vision of a future authoritarian state and by the scenes in which the hero Winston Smith was tortured in the infamous Room 101. Complaints poured in and questions were asked in The Parliament. The BBC rerun would almost have been cancelled: the broadcast went ahead with 1 vote in favour. When it was broadcast a few days later, it immediately attracted the largest number of viewers ever. Years later, in 2000, Nineteen Eighty-Four ranked seventy-third of the 100 best British television programs of the 20th century.
Event curated by Gerlinda Heywegen (Writers Unlimited)
Books for sale courtesy of De Vries Van Stockum Books
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