1984

Charles Butler hannibal at thegates.fsbusiness.co.uk
Tue May 11 06:14:39 EDT 2004


Minnow:
> I had always understood that not to be a coincidence but a snipe: Orwell's
> date was deliberately the same because the "future" of *The Napoleon of
> Notting Hill* seemed to him to be unlikely.  *1984* was published in 1949,
> rather than 1948 and thus a reversal of date, anyhow, which makes it seem
> possible that the rumour he did on purpose to refer to Chesterton is true.

That's interesting, if true. I'd always heard the date-reversal story for
how Orwell got his title (reversing the date of the year he wrote it rather
than the year of publication), but I certainly couldn't cite proof.

Now of the course the question is, which of them was closer to the truth, in
fact - Chesterton or Orwell? (Or even DWJ, but she had the advantage of
writing at the right date, of course!) It also strikes me that, while AG has
certainly got Orwellian bits ('Archer is watching you!'), the idea of
divvying up the town is more Chestertonian, I suppose.

Charlie

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