George Orwell's famous dystopia 1984 had, at the time, shaken up social codes by proposing an offbeat vision of a complex geopolitical reality. Sales of this book have exploded since the start of this year in Russia, as reported by The Moscow TimesandOuest-France.
The book resonates with contemporary Russia
The war in Ukraine unleashed by Vladimir Putin at the beginning of this year sadly resonates with George Orwell's book 1984. Authoritarian Russia is reminiscent of the period in which the 'Orwellian' masterpiece was published. In the midst of triumphant Stalinism, 1949 (the year the book was published) is a year evocative of censorship and violence.
Some people refer to it as a visionary bible, as the work sometimes seems to predict the current issues and territorial conflicts that we are living through or the 'cyberwar' of surveillance. In the famous dystopia, the danger of 'Big Brother' is constantly put forward in this parallel reality and materialised by thousands of facial recognition cameras in Russian cities...
Sales of the book are exploding in the country. According to some, there are several similarities in the book that reflect the daily life of citizens in Russia, hence the increase in sales. In the dystopia, repression is justified by an external danger.And people prosecuted for speaking out against the war are actually experiencing what is called 'thoughtcrime.'
Extraordinary sales since the beginning of the war
Ozon, Russia's version of Amazon, has been boosted by the success of George Orwell's work, which has been on the best-seller list since the beginning of 2022. It is also one of the best-selling books in the Chitay-Gorod bookstore chain in 2021, selling around 46,000 copies. Could there be a correlation between the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the story of this famous author?
George Orwell's dystopian work resonates more and more with authoritarian Russia and the war in Ukraine. 1984 was banned in the USSR until 1987, as Ouest-France points out. And, Dmitri Silin, an inhabitant of Ivanovo - 250 km north of Moscow - is reportedly being prosecuted. He is accused of 'forgery against the army,' for having distributed free copies of the book to passers-by in the street in April, as a way of opposing the war in Ukraine.
This article has been translated from Oh!MyMag FR.