From The Guardian:
American writer Sandra Newman’s novel Julia will tell the dystopian story from the perspective of Winston Smith’s lover
Tue 7 Dec 2021 04.00 EST
The estate of George Orwell has approved a feminist retelling of Nineteen Eighty-Four, which reimagines the story from the perspective of Winston Smith’s lover Julia. …
In Julia by Sandra Newman, the incidents of Nineteen Eighty-Four are seen through the woman’s eyes. “It was the man from Records who began it, him all unknowing in his prim, grim way, his above-it-all oldthink way. He was the one Syme called ‘Old Misery’,” writes Newman. “Comrade Smith was his right name, though ‘Comrade’ never suited him somehow. Of course, if you felt foolish calling someone ‘Comrade’, far better not to speak to them at all.”
… “She has known no other world and, until she meets Winston, never imagined one. She’s opportunistic, believing in nothing and caring not at all about politics. She routinely breaks the rules but also collaborates with the regime whenever necessary. She’s an ideal citizen of Oceania,” said Granta. …
I was going to make fun of this. But on second thought, it sounds like it might turn out okay.
We live in an era of diminished creativity when 20th century intellectual property (e.g., Spider-Man) is all the rage. On the other hand, the cultural conservatism of our time has its advantages. And in the Current Year, what better to spin off from than 1984?
Julia will be published after Granta releases Newman’s new novel The Men – in which every single person with a Y chromosome vanishes from the world – next June. It is the latest in a series of feminist retellings of classic stories, from Natalie Haynes’s reimagining of the Trojan war A Thousand Ships, and Pat Barker’s The Silence of the Girls, a version of the Iliad from the perspective of Briseis, to Maggie O’Farrell’s Hamnet, which centres on the life of Shakespeare’s wife, and Jeet Thayil’s Names of the Women, which tells the stories of 15 women whose lives overlapped with Jesus.
Homer, Shakespeare, and the Evangelists …
I’m cool with that.
While this hasn’t yet proven as galvanizing as past appeals for a new dishwasher and a new garage door, I need to raise enough money during this December iSteve fundraiser to allow me to get cataract surgery on my eyes in 2022.
I don’t do much other than trawl through the internet looking for Content for you, but my 43″ monitor is the biggest I can fit in my closet, so I really need better eyesight to keep doing what I’m doing for you.
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