Next Zoom: Monday 1 February 2021, 7.30pm.
Booking: Please press here to book with eventbrite.
It’s the most quoted book of the 20th century – and one of the most misunderstood.
On a simple level you can read George Orwell’s 1984 as simply a diatribe against totalitarianism, a dystopian vision of a nightmare future of permanent war, incessant government surveillance where the state knows everything and will eliminate anyone who flouts the rules, rules only the elite few can influence.
But there’s so much more to savour. Orwell was satirising the political climate of the year it was written – 1948. He just switched the numbers round to express his disgust at the weasely, bureaucracy-mad, small-minded buffoons in charge of a country just coming out of a lengthy war. 1984 mocks the petty officialdom of the time taking its attack to ridiculous heights.
1984 is also an attack on religion, with Winston and Julia as Adam and Eve tempted by the writings of Goldstein (the devil incarnate), O’Brien as Jesus and Big Brother God.
Join Ed Glinert, author of Penguin’s Literary Guide to London and one of the most prolific tour guides in the capital, on this zoom talk-tour of the stories behind the book and a trail through George Orwell’s London.