This week we are celebrating the 70th anniversary of the publication of That Hideous Strength (THS). While George Orwell’s 1984 is considered among the great 20th c. dystopian novels and C.S. Lewis’ THS is read mostly by fans of dystopia or of Lewis’ work, it is Lewis that preceded Orwell. Even Orwell’s genius “newspeak” finds its prepubescent cousin in the technocratic rhetoric of the evil N.I.C.E. in THS. Orwell was aware of Lewis’ project, and reviewed THS the day it was published–the same week that Animal Farm hit the stands.
Setting aside the connection between the two authors (which I will discuss on Wednesday), Orwell’s great bias is in his first line:
On the whole, novels are better when there are no miracles in them.
While you may or may not agree with him, this way at looking at books shapes his response to THS…
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