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Dangerous Visions: Darkness at Noon
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It doesn’t take a genius to see the effect that Hungarian-born British novelist Arthur Koestler’s dystopian novel Darkness at Noon had on George Orwell.
Reviewing the novel in 1941 for The New Statesman, Orwell praised Koestler’s “inner knowledge of totalitarian methods”. Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four both owe it a huge debt.
Set in an unnamed country in 1938 but based on Stalin’s Great Purge and the Moscow show trials, an old Bolshevik finds himself jailed and subject to the same indiscriminate persecution, torture and injustice that he had meted out during his own rise to power.
Matthew Marsh plays Rubashov, the doomed prisoner, but it is hard to feel either pity or empathy for him.
By Arthur Koestler. Dramatised by Simon Scardifield. Drama, based on the celebrated political allegory by Hungarian-born author Arthur Koestler. In an unnamed country ruled by a totalitarian government, former power player Rubashov finds himself imprisoned and tortured by the very regime he helped to create, and reflects on both his previous life and his experiences in prison. Starring Matthew Marsh.
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