George Orwell’s blog

tombstone of Eric Arthur Blair

What would you say if I told you that you could read a 70 year-old blog? Anachronistic, perhaps? Well, you can. George Orwell, born Eric Arthur Blair, has risen from the dead to blog – so to speak. His diaries between 1938 and 1942, beginning August 9 this year and continuing into 2012, will be posted day by day, exactly 70 years after Orwell penned the original entries. This definitely adds a new dimension to the posthumous diary. And what a brilliant fusion of original ‘log’ of the past and the modern-day, Web2.0 version of the ever-popular diary.

The Orwell Prize
outlines the project

Orwell’s ‘domestic’ diaries begin on 9th August 1938/2008; his ‘political’ diaries (which are further categorised as ‘Morocco’, ‘Pre-war’ and ‘Wartime’) begin on 7th September 1938/2008.

This is so satisfying on so many levels: firstly, a revival of Orwell; secondly, the fact that Orwell’s entries (posts, actually) will be in real-time; and thirdly, and most importantly, that there will be the opportunity to comment. A masterful stroke of genius, merging Web2.0 technologies with the past!

Read more about it here

Hyperlinks are included, for example, a Google Maps link to ‘the drive’ in the first post where Orwell catches a snake. Links throughout the posts give background information to illustrate the Orwell’s world. Think of the possibilities for lessons and assignments by rediscovering and recreating past documents and texts using Web2.0 technologies! What a great way to present topics in history, geography, literature, etc., or cross-curricular projects. Teaching students about the advantages of tagging is another possibility.

The language of the times and, in particular, Orwellian language would be interesting to look at and discuss in class, after which, students could write their own blog in Orwell’s style.

It will be interesting to examine the diary’s pertinence to contemporary life. So much for discussion and analysis, as well as creative spinoffs.

Here’s the blog: enjoy!

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Filed under Education, Teacher librarians, Web 2.0

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