July 14, 2016
Orwell’s Depressing Ongoing Relevance
In Orwell’s novel 1984, in chapters 2 and 3 of part Three, during the interrogation and dialogue between Winston Smith and O’Brien (sadly, I could mine these sections of the novel for posts here the rest of my life); O'Brien asks Winston if, in his opinion, the past has real existence and, saying that Winston is no metaphysician, he continues by affirming that:
until this moment you had never considered what is meant by existence. I will put it more precisely. Does the past exist concretely, in space? Is there somewhere or other a place, a world of solid objects where the past is still happening?
Winston replies in the negative and O’Brien questions him “then where does the past exist, if at all?”