“Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life,” Oscar Wilde wrote in his 1889 essay The Decay of Lying. Now, in the early days of President Donald Trump‘s administration, an increasing number of Americans are self-investigating to see if that is true.
Sales of George Orwell’s seminal novel 1984 have swelled this week following White House adviser Kellyanne Conway‘s claim that the Trump administration operates on a set of “alternative facts”—a phrase many have deemed downright Orwellian.
As of Monday afternoon, 1984 sat at No. 6 on Amazon’s weekly best-seller list. The dystopian novel, which envisions an inescapable authoritarian government defined by its omnipresent surveillance that intrudes even into citizens’ minds, birthed phrases that have come to define oppression, including: “newspeak,” “doublethink,” “thoughtcrime,” and “ThoughtPolice,” among others.
Conway delivered her infamous “alternative facts” quote during an interview with NBC’s Meet the Press host Chuck Todd on Sunday while she attempted to defend White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer‘s false claim that Trump’s inauguration audience was the “largest” in history. Spicer later stood by that claim.
Conway and Spicer’s claims have led to widespread ridicule in the first days of Trump’s time as president.
H/T the Hill