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The ministry of truth : the biography of…
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The ministry of truth : the biography of George Orwell's 1984 (originale 2019; edizione 2019)

di Dorian Lynskey

UtentiRecensioniPopolaritàMedia votiCitazioni
1406154,305 (4)24
"1984 isn't just a novel; it's a key to understanding the modern world. George Orwell's final work is a treasure chest of ideas and memes--Big Brother, the Thought Police, Doublethink, Newspeak, 2+2=5--that gain potency with every year. Particularly in 2016, when the election of Donald Trump made it a bestseller ("Ministry of Alternative Facts," anyone?). Its influence has morphed endlessly into novels (The Handmaid's Tale), films (Brazil), television shows (V for Vendetta), rock albums (Diamond Dogs), commercials (Apple), even reality TV (Big Brother). The Ministry of Truth is the first book that fully examines the epochal and cultural event that is 1984 in all its aspects: its roots in the utopian and dystopian literature that preceded it; the personal experiences in wartime Great Britain that Orwell drew on as he struggled to finish his masterpiece in his dying days; and the political and cultural phenomena that the novel ignited at once upon publication and that far from subsiding, have only grown over the decades. It explains how fiction history informs fiction and how fiction explains history."-- Provided by publisher.… (altro)
Utente:samtimjones
Titolo:The ministry of truth : the biography of George Orwell's 1984
Autori:Dorian Lynskey
Info:London : Picador, 2019.
Collezioni:Non-Fiction
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Etichette:Nessuno

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The Ministry of Truth: the biography of George Orwell's 1984 di Dorian Lynskey (2019)

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I'm not an Orwell expert, but I am a fan: ever since reading Homage to Catalonia I have tried to write with the simplicity, specificity and clarity which Orwell exemplifies. The pandemic has given me the time to reread his Collected Essays Letters and Journalism (still in process) and our local library offers several critical books and biographies. Lynskey's is two books in one, the first an examination of the sources and influences Orwell drew on to write 1984, the second a consideration of the novels impact since publication. I might have guessed that Terry Gilliam's Brazil was inspired by Orwell but would not have guessed that David Bowie was fascinated with Orwell and tried to write a musical version of 1984. So, a very interesting book, very engaging and enlightening and perhaps a good starting point for diving into Orwell's life and work. ( )
  nmele | Nov 6, 2020 |
A little too timely, in the bad way (as if Orwell somehow predicted Trump, anymore than he predicted Reagan and his 'well yes, I do see that we cut a deal with Iran to fund a revolution in Nicaragua, I mean, I see those facts, but 'my heart' tells me I did not do this, so...' BS), but the kind of mish-mash of biography, criticism, and social history that makes for a good plane trip or quiet weekend in. Even if you're not particularly into it, the book is worth reading for the reminder that the pigs (i.e., 'communist leaders') in Animal Farm were evil precisely because they became just like the humans who ran the farm before them, i.e., the capitalists, a piece of literary criticism that doubles as trenchant social criticism. Nice! ( )
  stillatim | Oct 23, 2020 |
Admiral, mostly well-written history of the novel and it's subsequent influence. It includes the precursors in Orwell's previous writings and life experience; the precursors in literature (Wells, Zamyatin, Huxley), the circumstances of the actual writing and initial publication; the consequences in politics, political analysis, literature, music and film. The analysis and breadth of the sources is excellent. It would have been a five-star book if it had included a bibliography or better annotation. I found it frustrating to go to the notes and find for example: "262 'may quit relying' - Roberts" and have to troll back through 5 pages of notes to find the full source in a note to page 231 in the previous chapter. Also, I felt that the writing could have been clearer in some instances. For example, a few times I had trouble understanding a sentence without reading it several times and backtracking for context, however I'll concede that might be a more personal issue. 🙂 The timing of the writing and publication is abundantly appropriate as would be crystal clear even without being spelled out so excellently in the afterword. ( )
  bookboy804 | Apr 2, 2020 |
A biography. Of a BOOK. Odd indeed, but marvellously delivered. An exceptional achievement of thoroughgoing research and user-friendly writing. One of my best books of 2019. ( )
  PhilipJHunt | Dec 11, 2019 |
The Ministry of Truth contains a biography of Orwell's life leading up the writing of his last and most famous work (part 1) and a biography of the novel after it was published (part 2).The takeaway while many have co-opted the novel for their own ends, it was and remains a criticism of Stalinism-style socialism. Orwell was himself a socialist but was disillusioned by the Russian version. Since Stanlism is mostly gone, it has become a period piece. Yet.. it remains vital. Orwell was a master of the neologism and quotes. Lynskey is not the most brilliant writer but his subject is so quotable it brings the prose alive like little diamonds sprinkled throughout. ( )
1 vota Stbalbach | Sep 22, 2019 |
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"1984 isn't just a novel; it's a key to understanding the modern world. George Orwell's final work is a treasure chest of ideas and memes--Big Brother, the Thought Police, Doublethink, Newspeak, 2+2=5--that gain potency with every year. Particularly in 2016, when the election of Donald Trump made it a bestseller ("Ministry of Alternative Facts," anyone?). Its influence has morphed endlessly into novels (The Handmaid's Tale), films (Brazil), television shows (V for Vendetta), rock albums (Diamond Dogs), commercials (Apple), even reality TV (Big Brother). The Ministry of Truth is the first book that fully examines the epochal and cultural event that is 1984 in all its aspects: its roots in the utopian and dystopian literature that preceded it; the personal experiences in wartime Great Britain that Orwell drew on as he struggled to finish his masterpiece in his dying days; and the political and cultural phenomena that the novel ignited at once upon publication and that far from subsiding, have only grown over the decades. It explains how fiction history informs fiction and how fiction explains history."-- Provided by publisher.

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