Andrey (azangru) wrote,
Andrey
azangru

I'm listening to The Ickabog, by J.K. Rowling and read, with much gusto, by Stephen Fry. What started like a nice children's tale not dissimilar from H.C. Andersen's, has progressed almost to the proportions of Orwell's Animal Farm.

I remember Douglas Murray's incredulous voice when he was commenting on the wailings of Hachette staff about the publication of new Rowling's books. "The Ickabog!", he exclaimed then. Of all possible things, they are protesting The Ickabog.

But Hachette staff might as well protest. The Ickabog is a very crafty, masterfully written subterfuge. It has distinctly familiar references to the present-day culture wars, with an emphasis on the truth, and belief, and performances of belief, and motivation, and propaganda. Here's a quote that strikes an Orwellian note:

They also considered the promise of more gold, and speedy promotion, if they agreed to believe in the Ickabog, and in Private Nobby Buttons.

and here's another one that resembles Murray's own "what was common belief until yesterday":

‘Treason!’ jeered Mr Dovetail. ‘Come off it, Bertha, you’re not going to stand there and tell me you believe in this treason nonsense? Why, a few months ago, not believing in the Ickabog made you a sane man, not a traitor!’
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