The Last Man in Europe


This was to be the novel’s name, The Last Man in Europe. It has always been one of my top ten favorite novels.

The author was sick, possibly dying, with tuberculosis. He had the outline of the novel and visited his publisher. He had a few titles, but liked The Last Man in Europe. His publisher didn’t like any of the possible names and suggested the author choose something more commercial.

To finish the novel, while having horrible breathing problems, the author moved to an Island to improve his air intake. His given name was Eric Arthur Blair and his birthplace was India.

george-orwell-1
ERIC ARTHUR BLAIR

His Grandfather, Thomas Blair, was a preacher. His Father, Richard Blair, worked in the Opium Department of the Indian Civil Service.

There was money in the family from Great-Grandfather Blair who was a wealthy country gentleman from Dorset, England and married the daughter of the Earl of Westmorland.
george-family-home
BLAIR FAMILY HOME

I lay out these boring details to give you a little background of the author.

The author thought it was proper to choose an author’s name.

He chose George Orwell.

Before publishing the above mentioned novel, he decided the novel needed a new name.
He inverted the year he was writing the novel, 1948, and this great novel was called, “1984.”

From this novel our vocabulary changed forever.
His made-up words have been part of our language for the past 68 years.

Words like: Big Brother, Thought Police, Room 101, Memory Hole, Newspeak, Doublethink and Thoughtcrime.

Once again, at least for me, this novel is crashing through my brain.   I remember when President Nixon made one of his many “doublethink” statements.
He said, “When the President does it that means it’s not illegal.”

I heard a reporter question Kellyanne Conway about Trump’s out and out lie about the millions of illegals who voted in the election.
I listened to Conway answer with the typical mind-bending pseudo-logic, “He’s the president-elect, so that’s presidential behavior.”

After my brain spun around (again) I remembered how this type of language started, “1984.”

May I leave you with a quote from 1984.
“The Ministry of Peace concerns itself with war, the Ministry of Truth with lies, the Ministry of Love with torture and the Ministry of Plenty with starvation. These contradictions are not accidental, nor do they result from ordinary hypocrisy: they are deliberate exercises in doublethink.”

About bakoheat

Writer/Musician
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