Asimov on Orwell's 1984

Mike Ballard swillsqueal at
Sat Nov 30 18:04:25 MST 2002

--- Martin Spellman <mspellman at> wrote:
> > Mike Ballard wrote:
> with enough ferocity; didactism; scorn and lack of
> humour to be a leader
> writer for 'Newsline'
> >
> > (More sour grapes from a writer whose fiction
> never
> > reached as wide an audience--perhaps because of
> its
> > being rather dull, dicactic, repetitious,
> motionless
> > prose by comparison.)
> >
> 	The reason why Orwell's books had such a high
> circulation, and why we are
> even discussing them on this list, is simply because
> they were set books for
> schools in Britain (and most of the English speaking
> world, from what I can
> gather).

Funny, I thought we were discussing them in the
context whether they were socialist critiques of
totalitarianism or whether they were just tools used
by the right against the left.  My take is that, read
properly, they encourage critical thinking against
imposed, arbitrary, bureaucratic, capricious authority
and rip into the character of authroritarian
personality.  I bet that if we were able to go to
Hades a la Odysseus, we'd find our old heros there
warning us of same:  comrades Radek, Tomsky, Rykov,
Bukharin, Trotsky, Piatakov, Zinoviev, Kamenev,
Shliapnakov, Kirov and Gorky, to name but a few.

> A random check of
> finds no Asimov included
> but you will find Jack London; Jaroslav Hasek; John
> Reed; Helen Keller; WEB
> Du Bois; Emma Goldman; Simone de Beauvoir and EP
> Thompson. There is one
> Orwell, well down the pile: 'Down and Out in Paris
> and London'.

BTW, those are some of my other favourite writers.  My
favourite though remains, B. Traven.

Mike B)

"Man first begins to philosophize when the necessitites of life are supplied."  Aristotle

"determinatio est negatio"  Spinoza

"There are no ordinary cats."  Colette

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