Adapted from an essay by george orwell
You'd get seven days for going into the spike with eightpence! They're scum. Nevertheless booksellers generally find that it pays them better to have a certain number of books stolen we used to lose about a dozen a month than to frighten customers away by demanding a deposit. If at rare moments you stop smelling sulphur it is because you have begun smelling gas.
Also there is the track for the coal tubs, like a miniature railway track with sleepers a foot or two apart, which is tiresome to walk on.
In a way it is even humiliating to watch coal-miners working.
Orwell suggests one more way in which totalitarianism kills writing. Your pace grows slower and slower. It is a silly piece of cruelty to confine an ignorant man all day with nothing to do; it is like chaining a dog in a barrel, only an educated man, who has consolations within himself, can endure confinement.
None of them, I noticed, ever attempted to take books away without paying for them; merely to order them was enough—it gave them, I suppose, the illusion that they were spending real money.
Not only is it doomed in any country which retains a totalitarian structure; but any writer who adopts the totalitarian outlook, who finds excuses for persecution and the falsification of reality, thereby destroys himself as a writer….
George orwell on politics
For some of the participants, it was an alternative to the nuclear family. It would follow that, as with the perpetual lie, this literature-deadening effect can outlast state terror. Fortunately, the charges were brought after the couple had left the country. And at that distance, peacefully eating, the elephant looked no more dangerous than a cow. Nevertheless booksellers generally find that it pays them better to have a certain number of books stolen we used to lose about a dozen a month than to frighten customers away by demanding a deposit. Most disagreeable! Totalitarianism demands, in fact, the continuous alteration of the past, and in the long run probably demands a disbelief in the very existence of objective truth. And find a way to describe many other things that are true but not seen, seen but not spoken, and things that are not but could be. And once, in spite of the men who gripped him by each shoulder, he stepped slightly aside to avoid a puddle on the path. You get into the cage, which is a steel box about as wide as a telephone box and two or three times as long. They have done it since childhood, they have the right muscles hardened, and they can move to and fro underground with a startling and rather horrible agility. But great works of literature are always a miracle, and they are usually dissonant with their environment, which might be what allows them to transcend time and, in translation, space. But why, exactly, did Orwell think all this was so destructive to literature? He imagined two major traits of totalitarian societies: one is lying, and the other is what he called schizophrenia.
Orwell believed that "ugly and inaccurate" English enabled oppressive ideology, and that vague or meaningless language was meant to hide the truth.
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