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Posts tagged george orwell

R.I.P. Richard Hoggart: A force for literacy, and culture
April 11, 2014 | 3:11 pm

Hoggart LiteracyOne of the UK's most articulate and forceful thinkers, and actors, in the cause of popular education and cultural uplift has just died. Richard Hoggart, born in Leeds in 1918 the son of a housepainter who died in his first year, came from the most authentic English working class background imaginable, and immortalized it in his classic The Uses of Literacy (1956), the most passionate love letter to the English common people since George Orwell's The Road to Wigan Pier.  An immediate bestseller, it's recognized as, in the words of its Penguin introduction, "one of the few truly essential books...

The cost of books, versus the cost of other things
August 13, 2013 | 3:00 pm

George_Orwell_press_photoSalon Magazine has an interesting piece by Kaya Genç, reprinted from the L.A. Review of Books, comparing the cost of reading to other things, following in the footsteps of George Orwell who in “Books v. Cigarettes” calculated that he spent £25 per year on books but £40 per year on cigarettes. At first the piece looked like it was going to be another one of those “smell of books” stories, with the writer indulging in nostalgia over the printed page in this digital era. But in fact Genç brings up the nostalgia for the printed page to explain how...

Post-PRISM “Nineteen Eighty-Four” sales spike points up Orwell’s split position
June 15, 2013 | 4:53 pm

PRISM One off-the-wall consequence of the sudden disclosures regarding the U.S. National Security Agency’s PRISM digital surveillance program earlier this week was the much-reported spike in sales of George Orwell’s "Nineteen Eighty-Four"—with Penguin Plume’s recent Centennial Edition up almost 7,000 percent on the Amazon Movers & Shakers list for Books, according to some sources. This level of interest proved to be more than just a flash in the pan. By Friday, "Nineteen Eighty-Four" was still in 18th place on the Amazon Movers & Shakers list for Books—although the Kindle edition was absent from the Top 100 Movers & Shakers or Best Sellers rankings on...

On privacy, and the use of our personal information
June 12, 2013 | 3:41 pm

privacyThere’s been lots in the news recently about this issue. The latest article I’ve seen was from All Things D about Google wanting permission to reveal how many FISA requests its received. I think this is a good time for us to be thinking about our information, how it's collected and what can be done with it. It’s our information, after all. Don’t we have some rights here? I think Google has some good points. Two relevant quotes from the article: "And, like so much else that’s considered too secret to discuss in this matter, it’s difficult to have an informed discussion about any...

Getting philosophical about the future of reading
May 29, 2013 | 8:59 pm

readingMark Kingwell, professor of philosophy at the University of Toronto, has just delivered his thoughts on “Does reading have a future?” for the Ottawa Citizen, distilling his conclusions from a keynote speech on ‘The Future of Reading’ for the 40th anniversary AGM of the Writers’ Union of Canada. “A noted Canadian philosopher” (which is probably why his piece is appearing in the Ottawa Citizen), Kingwell brings the hermetic hermeneutics of po-mo critical theory to bear on developments in e-reading and comes away—no great surprise—with the conclusion that “the current debates about the future of reading are merely the welcome death...

Banned book trading cards earn prestigious award
April 26, 2013 | 10:00 am

The Lawrence (Kansas) Public Library found an innovative way to celebrate Banned Book Week last fall when it produced art trading cards. Lawrence Library picked seven books to put on its trading cards from 46 submissions. Books included 1984 (pictured), Animal Farm, and Little Red Riding Hood. The cards gained national attention, and they’re still receiving more. Lawrence Library became one of eight libraries to win a 2013 John Cotton Dana Award, which comes with a $10,000 award, the Lawrence Journal World reported. Locals got free packs, but the library sold others online and sent packs around the world, including to England, Canada and...

New Orwell cover designs obscure an Orwellian copyright saga
January 10, 2013 | 2:08 pm

Penguin Books, along with its seriously talented team of graphic designers, is making great play of its latest rebooting of the George Orwell franchise. Coverage from the Huffington Post to the Creative Review lauds Penguin’s brave and high-minded initiative to relaunch Orwell’s works with bold cover designs that recall the original Penguin editions—only, in the case of Nineteen Eighty-Four, with the title erased to signify censorship. Penguin Classics’ own website states: "In recognition of one of Britain’s greatest and most influential writers, Penguin Books, the Orwell Estate and The Orwell Prize are launching the inaugural ‘Orwell Day’ on 21st January with new editions of...

Aldous Huxley writes to George Orwell about 1984
March 8, 2012 | 9:27 am

6812830962 1f5f8cc526 o Back in 2010 I mentioned the blog Letters of Note.  It's a blog that publishes letters, postcards, telegrams faxes and memos.  Now they have a fascinating letter from Aldous Huxley to Oeorge Orwell.  Here's what they say: In October of 1949, a few months after the release of George Orwell's dystopian masterpiece, Nineteen Eighty-Four, he received a fascinating letter from fellow author Aldous Huxley — a man who, 17 years previous, had seen his own nightmarish vision of society published, in the form of Brave New World. What begins as a letter of praise soon becomes a brief comparison of the two...