Below, you’ll find “eternal” quotes from the dystopian novel by George Orwell, published in 1949, accompanied by paintings by masters from different eras. Make up your associative array, and—think smiling, gentlemen! For “if you can feel that staying human is worthwhile, even when it can’t have any result whatever, you’ve beaten them.”
“Men in the mass were frail cowardly creatures who could not endure liberty or face the truth, and must be ruled over and systematically deceived by others who were stronger than themselves.”
“The first and simplest stage in the discipline, which can be taught even to young children, is called, in Newspeak, crimestop. Crimestop means the faculty of stopping short, as though by instinct, at the threshold of any dangerous thought. It includes the power of not grasping analogies, of failing to perceive logical errors, of misunderstanding the simplest arguments if they are inimical to Ingsoc, and of being bored or repelled by any train of thought which is capable of leading in a heretical direction. crimestop, in short, means protective stupidity.”
“In the end the Party would announce that two and two made five, and you would have to believe it. It was inevitable that they should make that claim sooner or later: the logic of their position demanded it. Not merely the validity of experience, but the very existence of external reality, was tacitly denied by their philosophy. The heresy of heresies was common sense.”
“Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.”
“And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed—if all records told the same tale—then the lie passed into history and became truth. ‘Who controls the past’ ran the Party slogan, ‘controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.”
“Always yell with the crowd, that’s what I say. It’s the only way to be safe.”
“No escape. Nothing was your own except the few cubic centimetres inside your skull.”
“Perhaps one did not want to be loved so much as to be understood.”
“A peace that was truly permanent would be the same as a permanent war.”
“War is peace.”
“War is peace.”
“What opinions the masses hold, or do not hold, is looked on as a matter of indifference. They can be granted intellectual liberty because they have no intellect.”
“Being in a minority, even in a minority of one, did not make you mad. There was truth and there was untruth, and if you clung to the truth even against the whole world, you were not mad.”
“If human equality is to be for ever averted—if the High, as we have called them, are to keep their places permanently—then the prevailing mental condition must be controlled insanity.”
“To understand the nature of the present war - for in spite of the regrouping which occurs every few years, it is always the same war - one must realize in the first place that it is impossible for it to be decisive.”
“The primary aim of modern warfare (in accordance with the principles of doublethink, this aim is simultaneously recognized and not recognized by the directing brains of the Inner Party) is to use up the products of the machine without raising the general standard of living.”
“The war, therefore if we judge it by the standards of previous wars, is merely an imposture. It is like the battles between certain ruminant animals whose horns are incapable of hurting one another. But though it is unreal it is not meaningless. It eats up the surplus of consumable goods, and it helps to preserve the special mental atmosphere that the hierarchical society needs.”
“Throughout recorded time, and probably since the end of the Neolithic Age, there have been three kinds of people in the world, the High, the Middle, and the Low... Even after enormous upheavals and seemingly irrevocable changes, the same pattern has always reasserted itself, just as a gyroscope will always return to equilibrium, however far it is pushed one way or the other.”
“If you kept the small rules, you could break the big ones.”
“The consequences of every act are included in the act itself.”
“We’re destroying words -- scores of them, hundreds of them, every day. We’re cutting the language down to the bone.”
“If you want a stronger version of “good”, what sense is there in having a whole string of vague useless words like “excellent” and “splendid” and all the rest of them? “Plusgood” covers the meaning…”
“Day and night the telescreens bruised your ears with statistics proving that people today had more food, more clothes, better houses, better recreations—that they lived longer, worked shorter hours, were bigger, healthier, stronger, happier, more intelligent, better educated, than the people of fifty years ago.”
“‘We shall meet in the place where there is no darkness.’ It was said very quietly, almost casually—a statement, not a command.”
The story of the Prague ashes told in Newspeak
In the Fair Palace, in October 2014, Jiří Sozanský recreated the atmosphere and images of the famous “1984” novel. For several years now, the “uncomfortable” contemporary artist has been disturbing the conscience and memory of the public. His sculptures (war dogs? Victims of bio-experiments?) are not the kind that random tourists like. The current project is the result of thoughts about the nature of totalitarianism and the fragility of being and consciousness. And yet - all this is “too relevant”: alas, this can be said at all times and in different countries about the Orwell’s novel.
... In 1974, the Prague Fair Palace was caught by fire. Ten years later, exactly in 1984, Jiří Sozanský came across the ruins. The main motive for his work has always been a man who was placed in the conditions of the struggle against totalitarianism. The artist considered the burnt building an ideal decoration for embodying the ideas of the English writer, which turned out to be prophetic. Sozanský captured the atmosphere of the palace in the photo, which he later used to create paintings, sculptures, drawings and collages. In honour of the fortieth anniversary of the fire, Jiří Sozanský gave these walls an oppressive look again.
“He felt as though he were wandering in the forests of the sea bottom, lost in a monstrous world where he himself was the monster.” George Orwell, 1984.
“The keyword here is blackwhite. Like so many Newspeak words, this word has two mutually contradictory meanings. Applied to an opponent, it means the habit of impudently claiming that black is white, in contradiction of the plain facts. Applied to a Party member, it means a loyal willingness to say that black is white when Party discipline demands this. But it means also the ability to believe that black is white, and more, to know that black is white, and to forget that one has ever believed the contrary. This demands a continuous alteration of the past, made possible by the system of thought which really embraces all the rest, and which is known in Newspeak as doublethink.” George Orwell, 1984.
Artist: Yana Sasina, Olga Potekhina