To this day, Orwell’s truth defies our deepfake reality
A review of 'The Ministry of Truth' by Dorian Lynskey
Nineteen Eighty-Four is one of the most influential and frenetically reinterpreted novels of the last century. It is also, in its black and punishing despair, one of the scariest.
“If that is what the world is going to be like, we might as well put our heads in the gas ovens now,” wrote one complainant of the 1954 BBC adaptation.
George Orwell himself, in a 1943 essay (written five years before the book’s publication), asked if it was “perhaps childish or morbid to terrify oneself with visions of a totalitarian future”. But the book was published 70 years ago, and the year 1984 is now decades in the past. So how has Nineteen Eighty-Four retained such extraordinary vitality?..