keywords: George Orwell

  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    George Orwell's chicken feed solution

    • Brian Matthews
    • 01 March 2013
    4 Comments

    'On this day in 1939: Belgium signed a trade treaty with France, 71 people died in the Black Friday bush fire, and Orwell's chickens laid two eggs.' Orwell's domestic diaries seem trivial, but it is wrong to assume he saw his recording of vegetables, egg laying and other small-holder concerns as dwarfed by the great world. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    George Orwell's example for Australian journalists

    • Sarah Burnside
    • 20 September 2012
    9 Comments

    BBC director general Mark Thompson turned down a proposal to erect a statue of Orwell on the broadcaster's premises because the writer was 'too left-wing'. But political animals of all stripes have long sought to claim Orwell. His political writing transcends both time and ideology.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Publishing George Orwell

    • Brian Matthews
    • 14 April 2011
    2 Comments

    In 1981, a few months before actor Peter Davison became the fifth Doctor Who, Professor Peter Davison, the literary scholar, accepted a commission to produce the corrected editions of Orwell's nine books. The project was to be fraught by false dawns and recurring frustrations.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    George Orwell's homage to a fellow underdog

    • Brian Matthews
    • 29 May 2006
    1 Comment

    Almost exactly 60 years ago George Orwell published a wonderful essay called, Some Thoughts on the Common Toad... The point of the essay was to insist ‘that the pleasures of spring are available to everybody, and cost nothing’.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    An Orwellian view of climate change

    • Brian Matthews
    • 12 July 2019
    6 Comments

    By 'belly to earth', Orwell meant not only the uncomplicated, hands-on approach he threw himself into at Wallington. It also denoted a quality of engagement with the natural world that he saw to be threatened by the nature of what he considered to be the 'evil' times in which he lived — a feeling familiar to many in 2019.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    An Orwellian reading of our anti-terror legislation

    • Justin Glyn
    • 22 June 2015
    13 Comments

    In George Orwell's most famous novel 1984, the white face of the Ministry of Truth bears the slogans: WAR IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY, IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH. Australia is not approaching dictatorship, but a quick look at Orwell's slogans in the light of the past week's news makes disturbing reading.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Abbott and co. working from Orwell's playbook

    • Brian Matthews
    • 18 July 2014
    20 Comments

    Life in Orwell's Airstrip One is graceless, demeaning and inhumane for all but those entitled to preferment. Surveillance is increasing, ruling-party secrecy and monopoly on information is rigid, refugees are demonised and language is reduced to sound bites and slogans. The leadership is disjoined from and cynical about the natural world. Just as well it's fiction because it sounds awful doesn't it?

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  • MEDIA

    Orwell in 2012 Australia

    • Fatima Measham
    • 16 July 2012
    2 Comments

    As word of the national security inquiry filtered through Twitter last week, one wit remarked, '1984 is meant to be a cautionary tale, not a manual'. The proposed reforms constitute a disturbing concession that our intelligence sector is not equipped to deal with the increasing sophistication of covert online activity, without resorting to questionable laws.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Climate science for the birds

    • Brian Matthews
    • 01 November 2019
    3 Comments

    The scene I have described was more than purely peaceful. In these iron days, to write about or seriously discuss the world of nature and its phases and complexions can be a political act, 74 years after Orwell wondered about that very same point in 'Some Thoughts on the Common Toad'.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Echoes of Auschwitz in Manus memoir

    • Brian Matthews
    • 27 March 2019
    6 Comments

    Like Auschwitz survivor Primo Levi in his works, Behrouz Boochani's No Friend but the Mountains exemplifies among many other things 'the possibilities of human decency' despite the Manus prison's squalor. Like George Orwell in another time and place, he is buoyed by hope in irrepressible nature.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Ending the cycle of violence in Kashmir

    • Tim Robertson
    • 15 March 2019
    1 Comment

    The world leaders who rushed to condemn the Valentine's Day attack have long remained silent on state-sanctioned oppression in Kashmir. That's no longer a surprise; nor is the fact that the attack was covered by every major western media organisation, while the daily injustices perpetrated against ordinary Kashmiris go unreported.

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  • EDUCATION

    Bringing the classics back to schools

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 31 October 2017
    9 Comments

    American-British writer Amanda Foreman is campaigning to return authors such as Austen, Dickens and Eliot to curricula in famous schools. But teachers have told her that a generation reared on smartphones and iPads finds such authors too ‘difficult'. So what? is my inward cry.

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