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Author George Orwell’s estate has reportedly given the green light to allow an author to “retell” the classic novel “1984” from a feminist perspective.
The estate, according to the Guardian, will allow American author Sandra Newman to tell the story from the perspective of Julia, the love of the book’s protagonist Winston Smith.
“It was the man from Records who began it, him all unknowing in his prim, grim way, his above-it-all oldthink way. He was the one Syme called ‘Old Misery’,” Newman writes in an excerpt of the new book. “Comrade Smith was his right name, though ‘Comrade’ never suited him somehow. Of course, if you felt foolish calling someone ‘Comrade’, far better not to speak to them at all.”
LILLE, FRANCE – NOVEMBER 21: Protestor holds a sign readin “Big brother is watching you” in reference to Orwell’s book “1984” as they demonstrate at Republique Square of Lille in protest to the French Government’s proposed global security law bill on November 21, 2020 in Lille, France. . (Photo by Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images)
Orwell’s estate says that the book, written as a warning against totalitarianism and contains a famous line that reads “every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten,” needs to be told from Julia’s perspective and that they had been “looking for some time” for the right author.
“Two of the unanswered questions in Orwell’s novel are what Julia sees in Winston, and how she has navigated her way through the party hierarchy. Sandra gets under the skin of Big Brother’s world in a completely convincing way which is both true to the original but also gives a dramatically different narrative to stand alongside the original,” Orwell’s estate’s literary executor Bill Hamilton said to The Guardian.”The millions of readers who have been brought up with Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four will find this a provocative and satisfying companion.”
The move to tell the story from a different angle brought criticism from many on social media who suggested the move was exactly the kind of action that the original book warned against.
“Orwell estate acts…Orwellian,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton tweeted.
“You know what George Orwell’s dystopian classic 1984 needs?” political commentator Paul Joseph Watson tweeted. “A politically correct modern day re-write from a feminist perspective. Said no one ever.”
25.06.1903-21.01.1950 + Writer, Great Britain Portrait in front of a microphone of the BBC (Photo by ullstein bild / ullstein bild via Getty Images) (ullstein picture)
“They’re rewriting 1984 to fall in line with feminist orthodoxy—yes, they’re actually doing this with no sense of irony whatsoever!” Humor-based news site NotTheBee tweeted.