Following up on my earlier post about Newspeak, here’s a superb essay by Thomas Pynchon on 1984 which is part of the introduction to a new edition of the book published next week. In it, Pynchon finds hope in the very inclusion of the Newspeak Appendix at the end of the book:
"We remember that at the beginning, we were given the option, by way of a footnote, to turn to the back of the book and read it. Some readers do this, and some don’t - we might see it nowadays as an early example of hypertext."
"From its first sentence, "The Principles of Newspeak" is written consistently in the past tense, as if to suggest some later piece of history, post-1984, in which Newspeak has become literally a thing of the past - as if in some way the anonymous author of this piece is by now free to discuss, critically and objectively, the political system of which Newspeak was, in its time, the essence."
Read the whole thing. It’s a great piece of writing by one great writer writing about another great writer’s greatest piece of writing. Phew!