REFLECTIONS ON AMERICA, 1984: An Orwell Symposium by Robert--Ed. Mulvihill

REFLECTIONS ON AMERICA, 1984: An Orwell Symposium

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Two years ago, there was such an explosion of books and articles about Orwell and 1984 that these essays, based on papers presented at an academic symposium, contain little that hasn't been said before. England's Bernard Crick reiterates his contention that 1984 was intended not as a prophesy, but as a satire in which the actuality of wartime and postwar England was projected to its logical (and ridiculous) extreme. Sheldon Wolin of Princeton proposes that Orwell's totalitarian state represents the end of the Enlightenment and its belief in reason and human advancement. Penn's Ivar Berg stands Orwell's thesis on its head to examine the ""microcosmic"" tyrannies over workers and consumers that can result when the federal government relinquishes controls over industries. Others (Mark Crispin Miller, Ruth Macklin, Joseph Weizenbaum) find Orwellian parallels in the stultifying effect of television viewing, the development of behavior modification techniques and drugs and, of course, in the computer revolution. On the whole, the various essays are literate and evocative; unfortunately, they are hitting the book market two years too late.

Pub Date: May 6th, 1986
Publisher: Univ. of Georgia Press