Just wanted to congratulate you on your website. I haven't had a chance to read it in depth yet, but I appreciate anyone trying to show the continuing relevance of Orwell. Like you, I only started reading him a few years ago, and I think he is more important than ever now.

One of the key elements of 1984 is the way language is used to conceal the truth, instead of revealing it. Thus the Ministry of Truth that churns out lies, and the Ministry of Love that tortures and executes subversives. This sort of language is routine these days - we bomb foreigners for their human rights (that is, we bomb them for their benefit!); civilian casualties are no longer human beings but collateral damage; and after Sept. 11 our leaders tell us that to preserve our freedom we must give up our liberties.

There's a very good (and very brief) piece on Orwell post-Sept. 11 at


Another reason to read Orwell is his pinpoint accuracy - he captures the totalitarian mind-set so well that a lot of his phrases have become part of everyday English - Big Brother, double-think, thought crime, thought police, etc. I have an Armenian friend who is still astonished at how accurate Animal Farm is - he tells me that it exactly represents how the Soviet Union was, and has no idea how Orwell understood the Soviet system so well without ever living under it.

I'm preaching to the converted here, I know. A bad habit, I'm afraid. But I'm very glad to see that someone is trying to show why Orwell is still important. I may be wrong, but I think he made life harder for would-be tyrants in the more democratic countries, and we could do with as much protection from them as possible, especially now.

Anyway, best wishes


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