Sunday, April 05, 2009

Winston Smith's Diary

Not that anyone noticed, but yesterday, April 4th, was the twenty-fifth anniversary of Winston Smith's first journal entry in the dystopian novel 1984 by George Orwell.

My friends over at The House Next Door allowed me to commemorate the "occasion" with this post:

Last Night to the Flicks: 1984

"April 4th, 1984. Last night to the flicks. All war films. One very good one of a ship full of refugees being bombed somewhere in the Mediterranean. Audience much amused by shots of a great huge fat man trying to swim away with a helicopter after him, first you saw him wallowing along in the water like a porpoise, then you saw him through the helicopters gunsights, then he was full of holes and the sea round him turned pink and he sank as suddenly as though the holes had let in the water, audience shouting with laughter when he sank."
So begins the diary of Winston Smith, arguably one of literature's most famous journals, from 1984, written by Eric Blair—whose better-known pseudonym was George Orwell...

(Full post at The House Next Door)


Dan Coyle said...

A fine essay, and a good point about filmmakers' tendency to make it science fiction, when it has the most minimal of science fictiony trappings. The novel, as it appeared in my head, was not a shiny utopia with a dark underbelly but something like, well, the regimes Orwell was targeting then.

Matt Maul said...

Thanks. It's one of my all-time favorite books. It still holds up whereas "Brave New World" and "Fahrenheit 451" are a tad dated.

Dan Coyle said...

Oh, 1984's still as tremendously important now as it was then. I also have a lot of affection for Farenheit, though I can understand why it feels dated. I actually found the relationships Montag had more interesting than the actual underlying philosophy of the book.