1984 Twenty years later

See this web site from NCTE, NCTE’s “1984+20″ Project. Here’s the opening paragraph from that site:

The National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) is sponsoring a nationwide reading and discussion of George Orwell’s classic novel 1984 this October. Educators and students in high schools, colleges, and universities, and citizens in libraries, community organizations, and book discussion groups are invited to read the book and discuss its prophetic nature and what it might teach us about life in the contemporary United States. The “1984+20� project aims to promote awareness, discussion, and debate about the key roles of language in politics and culture.

I don’t really teach any classes where incorporating this book would make much sense (and I couldn’t do it at this stage if I wanted to anyway), but the site has lots of interesting resources and such for high school and college teachers. A couple other thoughts:

* Of course, Orwell didn’t write 1984 in 1984. In fact, as I understand it, the date doesn’t really have a whole lot of significance, other than Orwell wrote and/or published the book in 1948.

* It will be interesting to see if the NCTE catches any political heat from conservatives for this choice.

* I think I’m going to read 1984 again, too. It has been more than 20 years since I’ve read it, but from what I remember, it sure does have a lot to stay about contemporary politics and culture, especially in this era of post-9/11 terrorism fears and worries.

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