Friday, November 13, 2009


Is a stunning book and one that doubtfully would be published today, with it's thin plot line, didactics, and complex psychological, philosophical and political descriptions, But it's a book everyone in America should read (again) and discuss in schools, cafes, bars, talk radio and news shows, because it still pertains to US. To some extent we have become the people of this book.

But, that's not what I had in mind with this post. What I had in mind was to transcribe this beautiful passage about a bird singing, overheard by Winston and Julia after they had first stolen away into the country and illicitly made love:
"A thrush alighted on a bough not five meters away, almost at the level of their faces. Perhaps it had not seen them. It was in the sun, they in the shade. It spread out its wings, fitted them carefully into place again, ducked its head for a moment, as though making a sort of obeisance to the sun, and then began to pour forth a torrent of song. In the afternoon hush the volume of sound was startling. Winston and Julia clung together, fascinated. The music went on, minute after minute, with astonishing variations, never once repeating itself, almost as if the bird were deliberately showing off its virtuosity. Sometimes it stopped for a few seconds, spread out and resettled its wings, then swelled its speckled breast and again burst into song. Winston watched it with a sort of vague reverence. For whom, for what, was the bird singing? No mate, no rival was watching it. What made it sit at the edge of the lonely wood and pour its music into nothingness?"


Mishon Aileen said...

I was just thinking about newspeak this morning and wondering if there was anyone in my proximity who I could have a conversation with about 1984.

That is a beautiful passage, thanks. Is it on to Brave New World or Fahrenheit 451?

piper said...

It's actually on to I, Claudius by Robert Graves! The List dictates all.