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1984
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Traveller (moontravlr) | 2527 comments Mod
Garima has been reading this and I've been wanting to do a re-read for ages. Anybody out there who wants to join in the discussion are more than welcome!


Traveller (moontravlr) | 2527 comments Mod
Ah, yes, this is where Big Brother and the Thought Police originated. It is very very, frightening to see that what felt like science fiction in 1949, had become so very, very real.... :S


Garima | 12 comments Thanks for setting this thread, Trav. It feels great to finally read it. Anyway, reading this book after reading books like Nothing to Envy makes it all the more baffling experience. I do wonder from where Orwell's inspiration to write 1984 came from. I mean the prophesy or whatever you may like to call it is so damn relevant in 2015 also.


Traveller (moontravlr) | 2527 comments Mod
I was very glad to see you reading it, because I had read it as a teenager and i admit I had forgotten most of it, and so I've really been wanting a re-read. But since most people have already read it, I despaired of finding someone to keep me company on a re-read. :)


Traveller (moontravlr) | 2527 comments Mod
Hmm, the North Korean book reminds me that I have ordered this one: Novel Without a Name, apparently a Vietnamese "inside story".


Garima | 12 comments These books about 'inside stories' affirm Orwell's book more than anything else I think. I would come back with more thoughts (critical ones too), so again I'm happy to have someone to discuss them with.


message 7: by Traveller (last edited Jan 21, 2015 05:54AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Traveller (moontravlr) | 2527 comments Mod
We even speak "Newspeak" (not literally, but the spirit of it ) these days. Okay, let me add, that i recently did a project on propaganda, and Orwell was pretty up to speed and quite outspoken about it in essays and so forth.


message 8: by Traveller (last edited Jan 21, 2015 06:00AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Traveller (moontravlr) | 2527 comments Mod
The thing is that with 4 dictatorships that I've examined with regard to propaganda, being that of Hitler, Mussolini, Lenin/Stalin and Francisco Franco from Spain, a lot of these concepts from 1984 applied, -the way these dictators manipulated people's thoughts, and i suspect you might find something like that in the book about North Korea that you mentioned, Garima?

I've really only just started with 1984 now, so I'll also say more a bit later.


Garima | 12 comments Traveller wrote: " i suspect you might find something like that in the book about North Korea that you mentioned, Garima?"

Yes. Gloss over histories, criticism about other countries and glorifying about one's own nation even when people are starving, 'being watched' every time, not using the words, terms that in any way reveal anything negative about leaders et al. Oh! similar things are mentioned in People's Republic of Amnesia too.


Yolande  (sirus) | 246 comments I've been wanting to reread 1984 myself so I'll see if I can squeeze it in :)


Traveller (moontravlr) | 2527 comments Mod
Hmm, interesting: the three slogans of the Party: WAR IS PEACE FREEDOM IS SLAVERY IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

Almost sounds a bit like the Christian "The meek shall inherit the earth." I never quite understood that utterance.


Traveller (moontravlr) | 2527 comments Mod
Yolande wrote: "I've been wanting to reread 1984 myself so I'll see if I can squeeze it in :)"

Oops, okay, would you like us to wait for you a bit, Yolande? I admit i quickly started as a flash decision because i wanted to catch Garima while she was still in full swing, but I'd be happy to wait for you if Garima won't mind...

I can always make notes in Word and wait to post them until whoever wanted to join, catches up. :)


message 13: by Traveller (last edited Jan 21, 2015 07:43AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Traveller (moontravlr) | 2527 comments Mod
Garima wrote: "Oh! similar things are mentioned in People's Republic of Amnesia too..."

Argh, that one has been on my TBR for ages! Maybe i should have made this my "Year of reading Asia" because i have so, so many books about Asia on my TBR that's been starting to feel more and more urgent.

Btw! So did you ever read Song of Kali ? I really would like to make some time this year to read that with my Indian friends here on GR. I would love to hear their opinions. I wonder when would be a good time? ...now that we finally have a group that's relatively free as far as theme and genre is concerned where we can freely start discussions...

(And while i mention that, maybe we should throw Midnight's Children into the discussion pot too... :P


Yolande  (sirus) | 246 comments Well, the book is on my book shelf so I can start reading immediately. How far have you read it Trav?


Traveller (moontravlr) | 2527 comments Mod
Yolande wrote: "Well, the book is on my book shelf so I can start reading immediately. How far have you read it Trav?"

I've only just started, heh heh. For some reason I looked to see what Garima was doing, (I have to manually follow up my friends, so I kind of rotate between them) saw that she was reading it, and saw my gap. The rest is history, as you can see above. But yeah, I read as I get time, so I only have a few pages down the hatch as yet.


Yolande  (sirus) | 246 comments Ok great, then I won't be too far behind.


message 17: by Yolande (last edited Jan 21, 2015 07:52AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Yolande  (sirus) | 246 comments Actually this is just jump starting my plan to re-read all the books I studied in my four years of lit. studies. A few years have gone by and I have read more so I feel like my reading of those books will have a different perspective this time around. When I saw 1984 I just had to dive in :D

I think you mentioned Midnight's Children, which is another one on that list.


Garima | 12 comments Traveller wrote: "Garima wrote: "Oh! similar things are mentioned in People's Republic of Amnesia too..."

Argh, that one has been on my TBR for ages! Maybe i should have made this my "Year of reading Asia" becaus..."


I don't mind at all. More readers means better scope for discussion. I must mention that Feb will be a busy month for me so I won't be able to participate much so kindly go ahead with anything that suits the majority.

My decision for reading 1984 was my NY resolution I made...umm..10years ago maybe ;) so I thought it's high time to fulfill it.

Btw! So did you ever read Song of Kali?

I remember you proposed a group read a while ago, Trav. It's on my tbr and so if others decide to read it then I'm definitely in. As for MC, that's a sprawling work of fiction and needs an entire separate group for the discussion but I'm looking for an opportunity to reread/discuss it. It's so much fun.


message 19: by Traveller (last edited Jan 21, 2015 08:37AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Traveller (moontravlr) | 2527 comments Mod
Yes, my February (and I suspect Yolande's too, as she's also joined a lot of discussions on the Year of Reading Women ) is also very full, which was why I thought : no better time than the present.

If you want to see if we can maybe get more people to discuss it if we make it for later, we could go for that - but I've found that most people tend to dismiss it because they'd read it at school and so see it as a "set" work for school. That is really a great pity, because I don't think it's a work that can be fully appreciated without a bit of history and sociology/cultural studies under the belt.

In any case, I put 2 posts out there advertising it, but I feel a bit nervous about sending out actual PM's to members, since I personally feel very irritated if specific groups send out too many PM's and i have actually left some of the groups i had belonged to because of this. I've not done this for 1984 since it was a flash decision to make a discussion for it, and I have no idea if enough people would come along to warrant that.

Regarding a book needing it's own group - well, I think you might understand if you saw how we did it in Mievillians. We would set an entire folder aside for a specific book, and make up to 15 threads just for one specific book alone, discussing it part by part and leaving the separate threads open for posterity so that anybody could still post and discuss, even after most of the rest of us had gone through the book.


message 20: by lark (new) - rated it 2 stars

lark benobi (larkbenobi) I'm in for reading 1984 with you guys this month.


message 21: by Traveller (last edited Jan 21, 2015 08:59AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Traveller (moontravlr) | 2527 comments Mod
Poingu wrote: "I'm in for reading 1984 with you guys this month."

Okay, I suppose we have by now reached critical mass then. Enough people interested to turn it into an "official" discussion. Up to when should we wait before discussing it in earnest?

..and are you people happy to do it in a single thread, since a single thread might become quite long if we discuss it in detail? How about we discuss the first few chapters in this thread for a while, and see how it goes? I could for instance make a separate thread for background and references and so on. That might be an idea, eh? Okay give me a day and I'll set it up.


Yolande  (sirus) | 246 comments A thread for background and references would be really good since my history reading is a bit shoddy.


message 23: by lark (new) - rated it 2 stars

lark benobi (larkbenobi) I can never figure out how to talk about a book with others until I've read the whole thing (and so have never participated in a goodreads discussion before, since people always seem to discuss chapter by chapter). I'm starting to read now and should be done in a few days. I'll defer to the majority on whether we need more than one thread but maybe we can see how it goes--with such a small group we might be able to manage right here. I'll read everything people post with interest, whether here or additional threads. I'm looking forward to some more time with George Orwell too. I recently re-read Animal Farm and found it much more amazing than I'd remembered.


Garima | 12 comments Traveller wrote: "Regarding a book needing it's own group - well, I think you might understand if you saw how we did it in Mievillians. We would set an entire folder aside for a specific book, and make up to 15 threads just for one specific book alone, discussing it part by part and leaving the separate threads open for posterity so that anybody could still post and discuss, even after most of the rest of us had gone through the book."

Oh yes! That would do, of course. Dolors has just finished reading it so I think she would be interested too.

I could for instance make a separate thread for background and references and so on. That might be an idea, eh? Okay give me a day and I'll set it up.

I need those references for sure. Guess an earnest discussion can start from Friday, maybe?


Traveller (moontravlr) | 2527 comments Mod
Okay, you guys are on for Friday, and background thread to follow shortly.


message 26: by Dolors (last edited Jan 21, 2015 12:19PM) (new) - added it

Dolors (luli81) | 2 comments Thanks for the notice Trav & Garima. I've just started Baldwin's Go Tell It on the Mountain but I will try to catch up with you guys when I am done with it. That should be doubly interesting as my ancient edition of 1984 is in Spanish...
You can also count me in for the discussion of Midnight's Children, which I've recently finished and has enthralled me completely, from beginning to end.


message 27: by Saski (last edited Jan 21, 2015 01:22PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Saski (sissah) | 399 comments Maybe with those references 1984 will finally make sense to me. I've read it twice now, once in 1984 (of course) and again about ten years ago and I just don't get what all the excitement is/was.

Definitely up for Midnight's Children, another one I have wanted to read but haven't managed to get much beyond the first few pages without getting permanently distracted.


Traveller (moontravlr) | 2527 comments Mod
Oh, golly, I was putting Midnight's Children aside for later in the year, because like Garima mentioned, it is a pretty weighty book.

How does November sound to you guys?

I had planned to discuss The Poisonwood Bible in July in another group, but I seem to have been abandoned WRT that, so I was wondering if anybody around here would be interested in it. I suppose I should ask about that in one of the designated threads...


Karin | 52 comments I would love to do both 1984 and Midnight's Children. I read 1984 ages ago and need to resurrect it from the ashes of my high school English class.


message 30: by Saski (last edited Jan 22, 2015 12:51AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Saski (sissah) | 399 comments I read The Poisonwood Bible about a decade ago and have been toying with the idea of a reread for some time now. It, though, like MC, is a hefty tome....


message 31: by Traveller (last edited Jan 22, 2015 02:25AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Traveller (moontravlr) | 2527 comments Mod
Great, Dolors, Karin and Ruth! Shall we mull over it a bit and think about if we can fit Poisonwood into July/August, perhaps? ... or maybe not, since we have Calvino on the list for around there. :( And we also have Cloud Atlas on the list, but I'm not sure what the interest for that would be. Otherwise, maybe we should rather put Poisonwood Bible on the long-list for next year then. Sigh sigh, so many books...

I've been wanting to read Midnight's C for ages though, and a bunch of you seem interested, so since it's long, how about we make mental space for it in November running through to into December? Or will that be too far into the future for those of you who had already read it?

And I really need to get to Borges too!
Oh golly, and what about Gass's The Tunnel and Middle C...?

PS, working on that background thread- give me another few hours, k?


Garima | 12 comments *Waves enthusiastically to Dolors and everyone else*

Traveller wrote: "And I really need to get to Borges too!"

Same here! So many books indeed. Sigh!

And take your time to create the thread, Trav. The work you're putting in is much appreciated :)


Saski (sissah) | 399 comments I second those words! Thanks for stating them, Garima.


Traveller (moontravlr) | 2527 comments Mod
:) I'm glad. :)
Okay, so how about we do it properly and make a folder for utopian/dystopian fiction. It just feels more organized to me if we create folders for topics. :P

I'm still busy working on the background thread, but will make a thread for discussion of the actual book in that same folder. Feel completely free to post your own contributions in either of those threads, guys, as soon as they appear. The background thread is already created and is here: https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Please excuse if I'm a bit slow, I've been doing this inbetween my daily routine stuff, and of course, we started on this without any warning, so there hasn't really been time to prepare... but I am VERY enthusiastic, as you can see! XD


Allen (allenblair) | 46 comments Trolling here, cause it was a school read for me as well, and I'm interested to see what my now-new-weird-infected mind thinks of it now. I did the same last year with The Chronicles of Leibowitz ...


Saski (sissah) | 399 comments Ah, TCoL, one of my all time favorites!


Traveller (moontravlr) | 2527 comments Mod
Allen wrote: "Trolling here, cause it was a school read for me as well, and I'm interested to see what my now-new-weird-infected mind thinks of it now. I did the same last year with The Chronicles of Leibowitz ..."

Well, can we seduce you into popping in on the discussion proper? https://www.goodreads.com/topic/group...


Allen (allenblair) | 46 comments Ruth wrote: "Ah, TCoL, one of my all time favorites!"

Belatedly ... Mine too. All the social/political commentary aside, and the end of days/dystopian wodnerings - topics that keep you occupied for weeks reading it - I simply just adore the idea of electronic schematics as art/illustrated works of religion. One of the most unique ideas ever.


Allen (allenblair) | 46 comments Traveller wrote: "Well, can we seduce you into popping in on the discussion proper?"

Was going to, but alas work caught up with me and I have been in reading limbo for quite a few weeks now.


Traveller (moontravlr) | 2527 comments Mod
That's fine Allen, totally understood. :) Perhaps next time. ;)


Cecily | 260 comments Traveller wrote: "And while i mention that, maybe we should throw Midnight's Children into the discussion pot too."

I'm 3/4 through Midnight's Children, aiming to finish in time to start The Blind Assassin and join in discussions of that.


Traveller (moontravlr) | 2527 comments Mod
Cecily wrote: "Traveller wrote: "And while i mention that, maybe we should throw Midnight's Children into the discussion pot too."

I'm 3/4 through Midnight's Children, aiming to finish in time to start The Blind..."


I'm almost at the point where I can devote my full attention to GR again- only a few days more... I had a look at Midnight's Children, but it's too big and thick to attempt at this busy time for me. Maybe June or December...


Saski (sissah) | 399 comments Sounds good to me...(leaning more toward December...)


Cecily | 260 comments Traveller wrote: "I'm almost at the point where I can devote my full attention to GR again- only a few days more... I had a look at Midnight's Children, but it's too big and thick to attempt at this busy time for me. Maybe June or December"

I'm glad you have more GR time - though The Blind Assassin is about as big and thick as Midnight's Children. ;)
Anyway, if you do read and discuss it later in the year, I'll dredge up my memories and join in.


Derek (derek_broughton) I totally gave up on Midnight's Children. Boooooring.


message 47: by [deleted user] (new)

Thank God for Orwell. 1984 is strongly anticlerical, and therefore excellent.


Traveller (moontravlr) | 2527 comments Mod
Greg wrote: "Thank God for Orwell. 1984 is strongly anticlerical, and therefore excellent."

Hmm. I smelled something from under bridges from the start. Methinks some game is underfoot!


message 49: by [deleted user] (new)

Traveller wrote: "Greg wrote: "Thank God for Orwell. 1984 is strongly anticlerical, and therefore excellent."

Hmm. I smelled something from under bridges from the start. Methinks some game is underfoot!"


You think too much.


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