Professor Jean Seaton for Times Radio on the relevance of George Orwell

15 February 2022
  • Jean Seaton landscape

Professor Jean Seaton, Professor of Media History at the Westminster School of Media and Communication and Director of the Orwell Foundation, was featured on Times Radio’s breakfast show discussing what keeps George Orwell relevant in modern day society.

In the show, she explains how Orwell’s books influenced their readers, and how his presence in writing and politics is still discussed.

Commenting on Orwell’s relevance, Professor Seaton said: “He wrote books, for instance ‘1984’, which is about totalitarian places but it never stopped being relevant… If you lived in what felt like a democracy like Britain or America during the sixties, seventies and eighties, you read it as kind of a warning on how democracies or how politics might get out of control, and how propaganda might work. And then, when President Trump was elected, there was a huge surge in interest in Orwell, so he manages to look at the way in which technology invented television screens that looked at you before anybody knew that mobile phones might know where you were.”

Talking about Orwell’s timeless quality, she continued: “He was very independent minded. He was a man of the left that understood what was going on with communism, but also what would happen if any state tried to control people. He was a man of remarkable individual conscience and he wrote in a very British tradition, very clearly, and he was an anti-imperialist.”

Listen to the full interview on Times Radio.

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