Friday, 12 January 2018

Caldera




In the year 2001 we made the long journey by train from Vienna to Naples.

And went to the summit of Vesuvio and peered into the crater.  Today Vesuvio is quiet.   

We then went to the Parco Campi Flegrei which is where the above photo was taken.

In ancient times the Campi Flegrei was believed to be the entrance to Hell.

Today the Campi Flegrei is in the news. Something is stirring. Minimally perhaps, but enough to attract media attention.

Perhaps things will settle down in due course. Let us hope so.


Another simmering caldera is Newspeak.

In the novel 1984 the appendix is titled The Principles of Newspeak. 

Here reader may read the definitions of several Newspeak words: words like goodthink. 

The populous will be encouraged to be goodthinkful. 

The goodthinker does not use ungood words like honour, justice and democracy.  To do so would be crimethink.

The few left who were born in the time of Oldspeak are aware of the power of words.

The final year for the complete adoption of Newspeak is fixed.  It will be 2050 is Orwell's conclusion.


  "Orwell . . . is not a prophet of disaster . . . 1984 teaches us, the danger with which all men are confronted today, the danger of a society of automatons . . . it would be most unfortunate if the reader smugly interpreted 1984 as . . .  description of Stalinist barbarism, and if he does not see that it means us, too."  -  Erich Fromm in his Afterword.



23 comments:

  1. I have stood in almost that exact spot Gwil and all was quiet then.
    As for the rest of your post - I usually think I am pleased I shall not be alive in fifty years time - but then it is possible that the same has been true for every generation. Or are things moving more quickly these days? I suspect the latter is true.

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    1. The boiling pot or gently simmering. Big Brother will decide.

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  2. Eric Blair was a very clever man Gwil. My favourite book by him is The Road To Wigan Pier. Don't think Eric was related to Tony.

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    1. Many good books by GO and that's definitely one of them. I wonder my favorite is? I 'll have to ponder.

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  3. George Orwell was a contemporary of Guy Burgess and Anthony Blunt. He broke away from them.

    I have not seen Vesuvius but I saw many calderas with lakes in the Azores with much beauty, I shared the experience with a Professor of Geography from Durham University who was on the same trip.

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    1. Did you go to George Orwell Square when you were in Barcelona? It is actually a triangle. I believe Orwell and others were holed up in a cafe on the Rampala during an exchange of gunfire during the civil war. I expect the other side called him a terrorist at the time. The square is a triangle.

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    2. Auden also went to Spain and thought he would be an ambulance driver, not wanting to see any fighting too close up. He was a terrible driver and ambulance driving was soon abandoned and he came home. When he returned to England he refused at any point to talk about his experiences. I am afraid it was all a bit of a bandwagon upon which they jumped.

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    3. It used to be said the Spanish Civil War was the last war that ordinary people from other countries could go along to and participate - before the present ongoing war in Syria of course.

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    4. I have to say after what I have read of some of this art/literary people and their going to supposedly fight in the Spanish Civil War it was all a bit of the thing to do at the time and Blunt and Auden certainly didn't want to get their hands dirty and Burgess soon came home.

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  4. Here one must be careful when using the 'oldspeak' word 'concentration'. You can't believe it. It's like walking on eggshells. I guess that needs concentration too.

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  5. Popping over to comment on your other blog. Sounds like a nice weekend of running through the woods.

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    1. Thanks CT. A 'prima' start! If I can avoid the winter germs, the coughs and colds, maybe this will be a good year. . . .

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    2. Think positive! I have faith in you! Here’s to a cracking year for us both 👍

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  6. A few of imaginations' plausible parallels:

    The Brotherhood, internet;
    Thought Police, Facebook;
    Telescreen, cell phone;
    What was, never was;
    The book?
    _m

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    1. The reader will find many other features of our present . . . society in . . . 1984 . . . provided he can overcome his own 'doublethink'.

      Obviously I know the Universal Declaration of Human Rights but I didn't know there was something called the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights until I stumbled across it yesterday. Living in both worlds must be rather complicated. The idea thinking and individualism is problematic for many.

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  7. When the truth is replaced by silence, the silence is a lie. Yevgony Yevtushenko.

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    1. silence bubbles
      at the top of the stew
      truth's steam

      __ Doublespeak?

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    2. Bubblespeak , beloved by politicians

      Blublubblubblublblublub.....

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  8. I've never been that close to a volcano! (Well apart from Arthur's Seat in Edinburgh but that's extinct!

    1984 is a must read book

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    1. I've driven across a 10 km diameter volcano crater in Scotland and arrived at a magical place - a beautiful lonely beach of white sand and turquoise sea illuminated by glorious sunshine and nobody there. It was on the Ardnamurchan.

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  9. Nice pick on your other blog. Snow to run through! We have mud here 😆

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