Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

  • Author: Rhodri Jeffreys-Jones

What Orwell and Snowden overlooked

In response to the Fake News and Alternative Facts doctrine twittered so incoherently from the Trump White House, people have remembered George Orwell’s Doublethink and Newspeak, and sales of 1984 have boomed in the USA. No doubt we shall soon appreciate anew the Orwellian warning that Big Brother is Watching You. The revelations by Edward Snowden still linger in our consciousness as a reminder of the caution.

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Spectre and Bond do the damage

The durable Bond is back once more in Spectre. Little has changed and there has even been reversion. M has back-morphed into a man, Judi Dench giving way to Ralph Fiennes. 007 still works miracles, and not the least of these is financial – Pinewood Studios hope for another blockbuster movie. Hollywood roll over and die.

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The realities of spy fiction

When talking about spy fiction, people sometimes confuse verisimilitude and reality. Spy novelists who use the words “friends” and “cousins” to describe our American collaborators are engaging in verbal verisimilitude. When John Le Carré tells us in his latest novel A Delicate Truth that the business of secret intelligence is now being privatized, he’s conveying an important reality.

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