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Orwell Day

Truth and Fiction in the Totalitarian Dystopia: From Orwell to Bandi

Debate with Antonio Monegal and Manel Ollé

Debate

George Orwell's classic novel about totalitarianism 1984 recently returned to the best-sellers list. The unlikely victory of Donald Trump, the rise of the far right in Europe, and a blurring of the lines between reality and fiction seem to have revived the ghosts of the past. Antonio Monegal and Manel Ollé reflect on the fiction of absolute power in Orwell's dystopia and the recently published The Accusation, a collection of short stories about life in North Korea by Bandi, the pseudonym of the first author to publish in the outside world from inside North Korea.

The ironclad, suffocating world Orwell imagined finds its most paradigmatic expression in the North Korean regime. There, the permanent spectacle that surrounds the Great Leader has turned society itself into a work of theatre in which the most dangerous gesture is to point out the border between turth and fiction. This correspondence between the North Korean regime and orwellian nightmare is chillingly palpable in The Accusation: Forbidden Stories from Inside North Korea (Grove 2017), a collection of short stories written entirely in North Korea that reached the outside world through a clandestine route. After a reading of a selection of extracts from the book by the actress Rosa Cadafalch, Antonio Monegal and Manel Ollé will reflect on the relationship between authorship and authority and how Orwell’s dystopia speaks to us today.

Presenters: Raffaella Salierno

Participants: Manel Ollé, Antonio Monegal, Rosa Cadafalch

This activity is part of Orwell Day 2017, Orwell Day

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