Literature's existence requires not the reporting of facts, conveyance of opinions, or spread of social propaganda, but the conviction that what the author is saying is believed. This is a slippery slope, but again, we're talking about a craft which focuses on conveying both conscious and subconscious perceptions and truths through mythical and rhetorical devices. Despite being myths, they're nodes of reality, illuminating conditions, events, inclinations and trends in an indirect and palatable way. The art form requires detachment from immediate conditions so the writer can wholly invest themselves in the ways of the myth, or the means in which they can most effectively convey their vision. That's literature's base; conveying the writer's vision.
Fortunately for the writer, the primary tool of their craft lies between their ears. Unfortunately though, the mechanisms which affect, inform, and altogether tune their tool sit is outside of them, taking the form of other literature, essays, and life events, made available by none other than freedom to imagine and liberty to write. It often takes a writer years to decades to calibrate their inner writing compass, so it requires a lot of freedom. If the external world is so oppressive that is occupies a majority of the writer's emotional energy, then there's not much left for literary convictions. It's not a permanent injury, it simply needs times to regenerate, however if the overarching regime is overly oppressive, controlling, and fickle in the long-term, literature on the personal and social level will be all but eradicated.
Writing may never die, in that compulsive writers will find way to do it in secret in even the most oppressive regimes. But the death of writing isn't the topic on the table, it's the validity of what's produced and whether or not it can even be classified as literature. The garbage people spout all the time for other people's ends, for money, for marketing purposes, that's not literature, it's simply a means of employment. It's still writing per se, but it's not literature. Literature is organic and thus stems from what the writers believes to be true, whether or not it's factually true. This is why the Bible began as literature then mutated, because its pages became bound together by political and economic interests, taking the form of threats of violence. Despite all religious orthodoxy's having a set code and belief system--that's what makes them an orthodoxy--they're flavored with violence, some way, some how. Thus, it's drawn further and further away from being actual literature over time, despite the canon believing in it. But I said if it's believed in, it's literature, right? Yes. Belief as in conviction, not as in social comfortability. A conviction reveals us personally, representing our unique thought processes. Since literature is art, it involves individual artists, not automatons.
Despite this, writers can function under religious regimes because of the stability of their irrationality. Their maxims don't change, unlike totalitarianism, which is a tyranny and thus functionally fickle. Why are they fickle? Orwell answers this through the "needs of power politics." People are much weaker when they're on their heels and unclear how to conform, despite most of them wanting to conform. Religion, at least modern religion, never took that extra step into political totalitarianism, despite extending personal totalitarianism in the form of constant spiritual surveillance. Still, this isn't as oppressive over a writer's creative impulses because we control how much we believe and fear, whereas if someone knocks at our door and removes our paper and pens, providing us with a dictionary of appropriate language, art is hindered.
Page 364: "It is easy to pay lip-service to the orthodoxy of the moment, but writing of any consequence can only be produced when a man feels the truth of what he is saying; without that, the creative impulse is lacking. All the evidence we have suggests that the sudden emotional changes which totalitarianism demands of its followers are psychologically impossible." Writer's require emotional sensitivity to write true literature, yet need emotional stability from the outside. Their creative energies must be conserved if they are to write truly from within, rather than simply recording something they don't believe in, don't care about its future, and don't think it'll affect or change them in any worthwhile way. Actual literature develops our human history, whereas faux-literature appeases and affirms political, religious, and social regimes.
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