The political philosophy of "Death Worship" or "Obliteration of the Self" in George Orwell's 1984?
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Oceania is famously remembered as representing Anglo-America while Eurasia is Soviet Russia. But EastAsia in 1948 did not refer to any existing state as Japan was still under occupation and China in Civil War. While IngSoc and Neo-Bolshevism are both forms of Western Socialism, Death Worship is not clearly identified with any western ideas.
Eastasia's political ideology is, according to the novel, "called by a Chinese name usually translated as Death-worship, but perhaps better rendered as 'Obliteration of the Self'".
This seems to be more identifiable with Buddhism and certain other forms of Eastern religion and mysticism. Which Orwell might have been familiar with from his stay in colonial Burma.
Death worship has always intrigued me in that it doesnt fit into the rest of the narrative of 1984 as a modernized totalitarian world. Instead it ushers back to something primitive, ancient and mystical. More akin to archaic Oriental Despotism than modern Stalinism. Almost as if Orwell did not think East Asians were capable of western scientific socialism, which is ironic since only a year later China did indeed embrace socialism of the Neo-Bolshevist model.
Since there is little direct reference to Eastasia in 1984, the precise meaning of Death Worship is open to speculation and interpretation.
Does anyone have any ideas on what exactly Orwell intended the political philosophy of death-worship to be and its parallels with real life western or eastern philosophies?
World War I & II
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I recently marathoned "Band of Brothers," watched "Stalingrad," and read "Catch-22", and I am looking for some recommendations for World War I or World War II books. Fiction or nonfiction, doesn't matter.
I've also read "A Farewell to Arms" and "The General of the Dead Army," both were very good.
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Sup. So, I figured out a thing about words and I want to give it away to anyone that will listen. If you're interested in learning a method of analysis that you can use to establish authorial style at the level of individual creative choice and thus be able to spot an author's particular presence in a document then stick around.
The topic of discussion is a thing called narramemes, a topic of semiotics and in particular the role of an author in constructing a narrative (I focused on narratives since I'm trying to be a better writer and am super autistic, but technically it is in any document that is constructed in a creative way.)
Replies are cool, it'd be nice to know people are reading but I'm also going to type the whole lesson even if I'm talking to an empty thread. I can (or at least should be able to) field any questions, there isn't a higher authority to appeal to unfortunately, I've looked. Technically, one of my purposes here is to fish for unanswerable questions.
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I'm currently in Japan, loading up on the strangest artbooks I can find. The ukiyo-e specialists Kuniyoshi and Yoshitoshi have served me well so far.
I've been disappointed by the 19th century shunga (erotic art) collections, except for the ones that incorporate the supernatural - e.g. a woman being raped by kappas underwater, two homosexuals being ambushed by anthropomorphic vaginas, etc.
I've also bought a nice volume by a moderner, Takato Yamamoto, and I'm still looking for Suehiro Maruo and perhaps something based on Serial Experiments Lain. Nobody does creepy quite like the Japanese: as far as I'm concerned, I'm filling my suitcase with revelations.
Do you have any recommendations for grotesque or uncanny Japanese art or illustration, /lit/?