Distribution Automatique

Sunday, August 31

"He tried to make her understand. "This was an exceptional case. It wasn't just a question of somebody being killed. Do you realize that the past, starting from yesterday, has actually been abolished? If it survives anywhere, it's in a few solid objects with no words attached to them, like that lump of glass there. Already we know almost literally nothing about the Revolution and the years before the Revolution. Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book has been rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street and building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And that process is ontinuing day by day and minute by minute. History has been stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right. I *know*, of course, that the past is falsified but it would never be possible for me to prove it, even when I did the falsification myself. After the thing is done, no evidence ever remains. The only evidence is inside my own mind, and I don't know with any certainty that any other human being shares my memories. Just in that one instance, in my whole life, I did posess actual concrete evidence *after* the event- years after it.

"And what good was that?"

"It was no good, because I threw it away a few minutes later. But if the same thing happened today, I should keep it."

"Well I wouldn't!" said Julia. "I"m quite ready to take risks, but only for something worth while, not for bits of old newspaper. What could you have done with it even if you had kept it?"

"Not much, perhaps. But it was evidence. It might have planted a few doubts here and there, supposing that I'd dare to show it to anybody. I don't imagine that we can alter anything in our own lifetime. But one can imagine little knots of resistance sprining up here and there- small groups of people banding themselves together, and gradually growing and even leaving a few records behind, so that the next generation can carry on where we leave off."

"I'm not interested in the next generation, dear. I'm interested in *us*.

"You're only a rebel from the waist downwards," he told her.

She thought this brilliantly witty and flung her arms around him in delight."

George Orwell, *1984*