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Date: Wed, 12 Jun 2002 16:19:47 -0400
Subject: Re: (urth) Loyal to the Group of Seventeen

I see a connection with Newspeak here, but more in the sense that Wolfe is rejecting Orwell's pessimism (if I'm interpreting him correctly) about the human mind's ability to overcome totalitarianism.

In _1984_ Newspeak and the rest of Oceania's thought control obliterate all reality and history except for what the Party wants to present. The muddled and imprecise expression fostered by Newspeak ma
In TBOTNS, it seems that the Ascians have tried to do the same thing to an even greater extreme. Not only are only a certain selection of words allowed, as in Newspeak, but Ascians can only speak (and
But for Wolfe, humanity is able to overcome these hobbles. Even using only the approved phrases, Loyal to the Group of 17 can tell the story he wants to tell and try to win the contest. Totalitarianis
I much prefer Wolfe's more optimistic vision to the one Orwell proposed (although Orwell's idea seemingly had a lot going for it in the 1940s). And I think history has proven Wolfe right -- the commun
-- Bob

On Tue, 11 Jun 2002 08:31:37 -0700 Dan'l Danehy-Oakes  wrote:

Matthew asks:

> > >Has anyone mentioned this is a response/riposte to Orwell 
> and Nuspeak?

and Hartshorn replies:

> It is obvious that it is derived from 1984 and Nuspeak.   The 
> idea that the Ascian's war may be derived from the eternal war
> between Oceana/Eastasia/Eurasia is a good one.

Ummm ... well, maybe a little, but the speech patterns of the 
Ascians are _not_ derived from Newspeak. They are a clear and
luminous reference to the habit that was for many years common 
in mainland China and among certain groups of "liberal" 
"intellectuals" in the US, of constantly quoting from the sayings
of Mao Zedong -- or Mao Tse-Tung, as it was then spelled -- and
treating such quotes as the final authority, in much the way some
fundamentalist Christians treat quotes from Scripture.




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