George Orwell’s ‘1984’ Is Suddenly a Best-Seller
George Orwell’s classic book “1984,” about a dystopian future where critical thought is suppressed under a totalitarian regime, has seen a surge in sales this month, rising to the top of the Amazon best-seller list in the United States and leading its publisher to have tens of thousands of new copies printed.
Craig Burke, the publicity director at Penguin USA, said that the publisher had ordered 75,000 new copies of the book this week and that it was considering another reprint.
“We’ve seen a big bump in sales,” Mr. Burke said. He added that the rise “started over the weekend and hit hyperactive” on Tuesday and Wednesday morning. Since Friday, the book has reached a 9,500 percent increase in sales, he said.
He said demand began to lift on Sunday, shortly after the interview Kellyanne Conway, an adviser to Donald J. Trump, gave on “Meet the Press.”
他说，在周日唐纳德·J·特朗普(Donald J. Trump)的顾问凯莉安·康维(Kellyanne Conway)在《会见媒体》(Meet the Press)节目上接受采访之后不久，需求量开始上升。
In defending a false claim by the White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, that Mr. Trump had attracted the “largest audience ever to witness an inauguration,” Ms. Conway used a turn of phrase that struck some observers as similar to the dystopian world of “1984.”
When asked on NBC’s “Meet the Press” why Mr. Spicer had said something that was provably false, Ms. Conway replied airily, “Don’t be so dramatic.”
Mr. Spicer, she said, “gave alternative facts.”
In the novel, the term “newspeak” refers to language in which independent thought, or “unorthodox” political ideas, have been eliminated. “Doublethink” is defined as “reality control.”
On social media and elsewhere on Sunday, the book’s readers made a connection between Ms. Conway’s comments and Orwell’s language, and the attention on the book “kind of took a life of its own,” Mr. Burke said.
The dictionary publisher Merriam-Webster described the interview as “fraught with epistemological tension.” The dictionary also reported that searches for the word “fact” spiked after Ms. Conway’s comments, and then, as an apparent reminder, tweeted the dictionary’s definition.
Even outside the United States, interest in “1984” has grown. So far this year, sales have risen by 20 percent in Britain and Australia compared to the same period a year ago, according to Jess Harrison, a London-based editor at Penguin Books. The novel is usually a best-seller, she said, and it sold 100,000 copies last year in English-speaking countries outside the United States and Canada. “But we’ve definitely seen an uplift” in sales, she added.
Dystopian novels are “chiming with people,” Ms. Harrison said, adding that “The Man in The High Castle” by Philip Dick, an alternative history in which the Nazis defeated America to win World War II, is also selling well. A television series based on Mr. Dick’s novel is now in its second season at Amazon.
哈里森说，现在人们对反乌托邦小说“很着迷”，菲利普·迪克(Philip Dick)的《高堡奇人》(The Man in the High Castle)也卖得很好。该书讲述的是纳粹打败美国、赢得“二战”的虚构历史。根据这本小说改编的电视连续剧正在亚马逊上播放第二季。
Penguin also published Sinclair Lewis’s “It Can’t Happen Here,” about the rise of a demagogue, last Friday in Britain for the first time since 1935, “and we’re already on to our third printing.”
上周五，企鹅出版公司自1935年以来首次在英国出版辛克莱尔·刘易斯(Sinclair Lewis)的《不会发生在这里》(It Can’t Happen Here)，它讲述的是一名煽动家的崛起，“我们已经出到第三印了。”
On Wednesday, that book was also ranking among Amazon’s best sellers, as was Aldus Huxley’s “Brave New World,” another dystopian classic.
周三，这本书也登上了亚马逊的畅销书排行榜。一同入榜的还有另一本反乌托邦经典著作——阿尔都斯·赫胥黎(Aldous Huxley)的《美丽新世界》(Brave New World)。
Prof. Stefan Collini, a professor of intellectual history and an expert on Orwell at the University of Cambridge, said that readers see a natural parallel between the book and the way Mr. Trump and his staff have distorted facts.
剑桥大学(University of Cambridge)思想史教授、奥威尔专家斯特凡·科利尼(Stefan Collini)称，读者们在这本书和特朗普及其幕僚扭曲事实的手法之间看到了本质上的相似之处。
“Everyone remembers ‘1984’ as containing various parodies of official distortions,” he said.
“That kind of unreality that is propagated as reality is what people feel reminded of, and that’s why they keep coming back.”