Belarus bans Orwell's “1984”


Eastern Europe


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The Belarusian government has forbidden the sale of the book "1984", written by George Orwell. It ordered bookstores to withdraw all editions of the work.

That is reported by Nasha Niva. Orwell's novel is about living in a state where the government controls its citizens completely. It was translated into the Belarussian language in 1992. According to Nasha Niva, the book has been fourth on the list of best-selling books.

According to the Ukrainian website C4U, the society described in 1984 parallels Belarus, a satellite state of Russia. "Orwell describes an alternative world with socialist Oceania, the prototype of the Soviet Union. In 1984, the ruling party had a slogan that the USSR lived by and that Russia continues to live by: "War is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is power.""

However, according to the official representative of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Maria Zakharova, the novel is not about the Soviet Union but the end of liberalism. That is reported by the Russian Daily Afisha. Zakharova argues that Orwell meant to "describe how liberalism will lead humanity to a dead end." She calls the theory that the book would be about the Soviet Union a "global fake."

Golyshev, the author of the Russian translation of "1984", disagrees with Zakharova. He thinks the book is about a totalitarian state, but not per definition about the Soviet Union. "By the time Orwell wrote this, half of Europe was occupied by totalitarian states", he said to PDM News. Golyshev: "I can't say yet that this is a novel about modern Russia. We still somehow have a press, a special operation is going on, yes, but it doesn't look like current affairs, not very much yet.""



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