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Posts tagged ‘1984’

Famous First Sentences Diagrammed

I must admit that I’m a bit of a grammar nerd…with one exception.

I loathe diagramming sentences. I think I missed that part of middle school English. Just the thought of diagramming sentences makes my eyes glaze over.

I get it. I understand the point. I just don’t enjoy the thought of doing them. In fact, I don’t even enjoy looking at the diagrams that someone else has done.

That is, unless you show me the diagrams of opening sentences from famous novels. Now that’s kind of interesting. Maybe just a little bit.

And the cool folks at Pop Chart Lab decided to take on that assignment and created an infographic that diagram 25 famous opening sentences.

A few of my favorites:

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Why 1984 Almost Didn’t Happen

Though I won’t be revisiting George Orwell anymore in this project, I thought this piece of information was worth sharing.

Orwell’s 1984 nearly didn’t happen.

While on a camping trip in Scotland, Orwell took a small motor boat out with his son, niece and nephew. The boat got caught up in the tide and flipped. The group didn’t have on life jackets and were taken in by a whirlpool.

Orwell’s son, Richard, described the incident:

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7 Political Novels That Aren’t Stupid (Like Politicians)

All The King’s Men is said by many critics to be the greatest political novel of all time.

I don’t know about that, but it is a really freakin’ good book. And since I thought I hadn’t tackled that many true political novels as part of reading the Time list, I started wondering what else is out there.

Here’s what I found–and well, it turns out, I have read a few political novels:

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When Office Space Meets 1984

If you’ve watched Office Space, or The Office for that matter, and read 1984, then you’ll hopefully follow this post.

This passage from Snow Crash is what happens if Big Brother invaded Initech. What we have here is a memo that the federal government sent to its employees–one of whom is the mother of a main character (Y.T.). I know it’s long, but stick with it.

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One Question For 10 Famous Authors

Today’s post is kind of like my 20 Questions series, but with more of a specific focus.

If you could ask a famous author one question, what would you ask him or her? It’s that simple.

To get things rolling, I’ll start with questions I would ask to 10 famous authors (either dead or alive):

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What Classic Novels Were Almost Called

Mental Floss—a stellar website if you’ve never been, by the way—recently listed what some famous classic novels were almost called.

I found the list fascinating—it’s a literary “what might have been,” and it makes me wonder how the fate of these books might have changed if the original title had stuck.

Some examples:

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Book #11: 1984

What will the world look like in 40 years?

Difficult question, yes? No one really can answer with certainty. And, if we try to answer, more than likely we’re going to come up with some goofy, off-base version of the future that, in 40 years, will be over the top and lame. Kind of like The Jetsons or those rides at Epcot.

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George Orwell Hated Crappy Writing

What George Orwell lacked in his sense of facial hair fashion (see photo), he more than made up for in his writing ability.

I suspect that many of you, since you are reading a blog about books, are avid readers.

Many avid readers, I would propose, have at least a passing interest in writing–most of you have blogs, I’ve noticed.

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Apple’s Classic Take on 1984

Back in 1984, Apple (Macintosh) released their first computer with a classic and critically acclaimed commercial, featured during the Super Bowl, that borrowed heavily from George Orwell’s 1984. IBM was portrayed as “Big Brother” and Apple as the revolutionary who was saving the world from conformity.

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Next Up: 1984

To shorten my reviews, I’ve decided to move the “Quick Facts” section to a new post—which I’ll feature before I start reading each book.

Book 11 is 1984—a classic by George Orwell. Sadly, this is one of the books I’ve somehow managed to miss during my education. Though I’ve read Orwell’s Animal Farm, I’ve embarrassed English majors across the globe by not having read 1984. Forgive me, dear friends, I’m an idiot. Better late than never, though.

A few tidbits you might like to know about 1984:

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