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May 23, 2011


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Being familiar with NINETEEN EIGHTY-FOUR as I am, I really suggest that Winston savor this moment.

That Fuzzy Bastard

Have you ever read Zamyatin's "We"? It's a major precedent to 1984---I believe Orwell openly cited it as inspiration---but with much more Russian mysticism instead of English realism.


I love "We", which, along with Samuel Butler's "Erewhon", I consider the greatest dystopian novel ever written.

I've become a pretty big fan of Orwell is recent years, but it's actually more for his earlier, pre-"Animal Farm" work. "Keep the Aspidistra Flying" is a great book. And "Homage to Catalonia" is obviously a non-fiction masterpiece.

I like "Nineteen Eighty-Four" a lot too. Though, I remember reading a funny anecdote about Martin Amis, who apparently gave up on the novel because the phrase "ruggedly handsome features" appears on the first page (which made him conclude that Orwell was a second-rate writer). He did return to the novel eventually, however, and admitted that it improves. Ha!

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