George Orwell's letter from his former French teacher, Aldous Huxley, about Nineteen Eighty-Four


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/08/22/george-orwells-letter-from-h.html


#2

Up until now, I assumed Nineteen Eighty-Four preceded Brave New World – for I thought Nineteen Eighty-Four is what you might wind up with if you took all the sex, drugs, and genetics out of Brave New World.

Methinks his ideas might be rather more on the nose if one sees marketing and showmanship as an extension of what Huxley saw as “hypnotism” and “animal magnetism”.


#3

Coincidentally, Wrightwood was in the evacuation zone for the Blue Cut fire, but it appears to have survived. It’s just a two hour drive from the LA beaches, but it’s a tiny pine-scented mountain town with a little ski area.


#4

Huxley’s TLDR on the book: Suck it Orwell, read my book.


#5

“you wrote a book that’s like mine, but better – but I have quibble, so let’s talk about that.”


#6

Two thoughts:

Aldus certainly knows how to fill up a page.

Aldus completely missed the point of 1984. it’s not really a prediction of the future, it is a demonstration of tactics governments have used and continue to use to manipulate their populations.


#7

Boy, that Aldous Huxley is a lot of fun.


#8

Brave New Work??
or Brave New World?


#9

These guys would have been bitterly amused to see what we’ve made of their works. On the one hand, the typical EULA. On the other, the 2016 presidential race.


#10

Brave New Work indeed.


#11

It’s interesting to me that Huxley would later call Brave New World a failure for only offering hopelessness and wrote Island to compensate, although–spoiler alert–it’s not exactly optimistic either.

I like to think Orwell would have done something similar if he’d lived. Although he did encourage us to drink tea.


#12

Writers rarely succeed in painting an especially accurate picture of what life in the future will look like, and most who think they have done so are deluding themselves. Intentionally or not the words authors put to page inevitably tell us more about the world the authors themselves live in, or at least their personal point of view of the world they live in.


#13

Dear Aldus,

Thanks for cheering me up.

     -- George

#14

I agree. A lot of 1984 is based on the propaganda and information controls that existed because of WWII.


#15

I’m not that knowledgeable about either author, but it has always seemed to me that both were advocates of freedom as opposed to slavery. On the other hand Julian was a dangerous man, believing in some new world order via the UN. I must explore more of Aldous. I though he was ‘on our side’ as to freedom, or was he also in favor of a totalitarian government enslaving mankind? Cheers! From Canada.


#16

Basically 1984, much like Orwell’s previous “Animal Farm”, is a critique of Stalinism, with obvious analogies – Big Brother is Stalin, Goldstein is Trotsky (real name Bronstein), Rutherford, etc are the Old Bolsheviks that Stalin was in the process of purging, etc. “Brave New World” is more of a critique of the West – that we allowed ourselves to be easily distracted by entertainment and material goods that we fall into tyranny that way.


#17

See also trump’s rise as-candidate on the backs of working class folks:

Not to mention a pretty little gateway to hiking Mt. Baden-Powell and gazing upon trees that are, in some cases, over 2,000 years old.


#18

Aldous (not Aldus) Huxley might be forgiven for thinking it was a prediction given that at the time it was proposed to publishers (1948), “Nineteen Eighty-Four” was set thirty-six years in the future.

Of course this was not Orwell’s original intention: his working title for the book during its composition (starting 1944) was “Nineteen forty-eight” which made it an imminent catastrophe, not a future dystopia. It’s been suggested that the change in nominal date came at the behest of Orwell’s publisher, whereupon Orwell vacillated between different dates till finally deciding on a permutation of 1948, the year in which the manuscript was submitted for publishing.


#19

Ah yes as depicted here https://biblioklept.org/2013/06/08/huxley-vs-orwell-the-webcomic-2/


#20

LSD is a hell of a drug

I always thought that 1984 and brave new world are both correct, one depicts total control of society by total represion of the natural instincts and the other by total hedonism

Both have been tried, but it seems that current western society is closer to Huxley’s vision. It requires less effort and generates more wealth for the ruling caste