March 2008 Archives

Orwell Part Three -


"I don't know - I don't care. Somehow you will fail. Something will defeat you. Life will defeat you." - Orwell

I think the appendix is supposed to show that Newspeak and the totalitarian society is in the past and that society has changed. It says, "Newspeak was the official language" and "it was expected that Newspeak would have finally superseded Oldspeak."

Orwell, Part One and Two

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Winston is a copy editor. His job is editing history. Online materials can be easily edited. As more and more documents are published online, history could be changed.

They're constantly altering every piece of recorded history. Currently, books are routinely altered and updated, but obviously not to the extent as the world of Orwell's 1984. It's the same with telescreens. They exist but are not used as extensively.

The Party owns the media, which is not unlike the publications that lean towards a political party in preference. Double speak reminds me of politically correct speech. One department spent all its time faking photographers. I wonder if they used Adobe Photoshop.

McLuhan (180-263)


"Print, in turning the vernaculars into mass media, or closed systems, created the uniform, centralized forces of modern nationalism." - (p. 239) McLuhan, Gutenberg Galaxy

McLuhan says that democracy didn't exist until print because it created ideas about representation and equal rights. It did this through the communities it created. Also because of the standardization of language (typography).

McLuhan (91-180)


"The manuscript shaped literary conventions at all levels." - (p. 108) McLuhan, Gutenberg Galaxy

It had many effects on their literary customs. There was an emphasis on memorization. Words were taken down diligently, without room for error, and reading was an oral experience. They were read to communities. It was before the printing press so reading was not yet a private experience.

Calvino Ch. 6 -


"Reading is a discontinuous and fragmentary operation. Or, rather, the object of reading is a punctiform and pulviscular material." - (p. 248) Calvino, If on a Winter's Night a Traveler

I found the stories to be alienating because I knew it was the experience of someone else reading the story. Also, I eventually figured out that the stories would never have a conclusion so that also killed my involvement. Sometimes I have to make an effort to connect with what I'm reading, but I found that it was best to stay detached to this book.

Calvino Ch. 1 - 6


"You can't wait to get your hands on a nondefective copy of the book you've begun." - (p. 26) Calvino, If on a Winter's Night a Traveler

It's a book about a book and the whole book is an interruption. Don't get too interested in any of the stories because they are never completed.

The titles form a complete sentence, did you notice?

WM Douglas


"As I writhed under it, I would at times feel that learning to read had been a curse rather than a blessing. It had given me a view of my wretched condition, without the remedy. It opened my eyes to the horrible pit, but to no ladder upon which to get out." - (p. 100) Fredrick Douglas, Writing Materials

This is the same reason why people say they don't watch the news. They say it's too depressing. They find it too painful to be well-informed.

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