Y'all remember how draining it was to read 1984? I mean here's this dude who's every interaction is rife with subtext, and he just... can't help but see it. And it's weighing on him, and it weighs on you. What follows his indoctrination in Room 101 almost feels like a relief in comparison.

That weight, that inexplicable subtext, is felt by all those who aren't in the privileged class.

This lesson in empathy brought to you by the letter A for Apply your education.

It's interesting to me that this OP, about how draining 1984 is, was not engaged with when I posted it about 2 days ago.

I'm inclined to wonder if that isn't because more people who can't escape this conversation are feeling the weight of it.

@emsenn I love when folks call basic democratic socialist policies "Orwellian" as though Orwell wasn't a democratic socialist.

@Kye I think you might misunderstand how they mean the term, they usually mean "similar to the governing structures that exist within his texts," not "similar to the governing structures advocated by his texts."

I hate "Orwellian" because of that and how that contradicts "Doylian" which is a perspective outside of the narrative (contrasted to Watsonian.)

It should be Winstonian to mean what I've explained here, and Orwellian to mean what you think it means.

@Kye (Sorry I've just literally never had an opportunity to express this particular lexicon gripe.)

@emsenn It's furry for "I acknowledge you said something worthwhile and have nothing to add." It's more affirmative than favoriting it.

@Kye Oh I like that I normally have to type out that whole text! I don't know if I'll adapt it because of the furry associations (I'm just not one,) but good to know; and, good little term.

@emsenn I know our latest interaction wans't really "pleasant", but just out of curiosity: Have you also read "We"?

@Deiru Hey our interactions never have to be pleasant for me to welcome conversation, as long as we don't try and use our power against each other. <3

Do you mean the book by Yevgeny Zamyatin? I had to look it up; I'd not heard of a text of that title before.

I have not: I am making it a point to read more Russian texts like from Orthodoxy and their scifi canon as I can, though.

I'm relatively unfamiliar, though, with the field; should I read this sooner or later?

@emsenn Well, We includes MANY themes that both Orwell and Huxley borrow, although with Orwell I'm only familiar through brief synopsis. It was also released several years earlier of both other books, so I think it's a nice referrence point to how Zamyatin's ideas were adopted and re-interpreted by the west.

We however, is very very direct, which is why it never saw the light of day in soviet union.

@Deiru I'm interested in new language for my ideas so I think I'll prioritize this, thank you for this interpretation of it.

@emsenn Oh, yeah, on the topic of adoption afaik Huxley outright admitted he took "great inspiration" in Zamyatin, but citation is needed.

You have to be mindful that We wasn't meant only as totalitarian end of the world book, it is also sometimes a direct critique of soviet union and soviet interpretation of communism.

I'm not an authority on soviet sci-fi, but if you'd want more I can shoot some good books your way.


I'm kinda' tired of that book and *Handmaid's Tale* as shorthand for all the good dystopian fiction there must be out there. I mean, they're all right I guess but the hype is overwhelming and off-putting, and both writers did stuff which speaks to me personally a lot more.

(Also Atwood's a piece of shit.)

@xenophora Sorry, this was part of a series of toots @ white dudes going "look, you were taught this shit as a child. I'm not just saying you're as ignorant as a child: you're even worse."

@xenophora do you have a specific recommendation for a novel that goes "the words you think with limit how you think" in such a heavy-handed way?

(I believe there's probably equally useful texts but I genuinely don't know of any. This isn't meant to be a leading question.)


I remember being very moved by Piercy's *Woman On The Edge Of Time* , but I don't know if it's held up. We can change so much (for good or ill) as the decades roll by.

@emsenn The pessimist in me says "1970s Feminism" must mean there's some transphobia in there that college-age me would not have noticed. But I don't know much about Piercy the human being so maybe I'm wrong...

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