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Old December 25th 07, 09:40 PM posted to rec.aquaria.marine.reefs
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per cent. The
Party claimed that the infant mortality rate was now only 160 per thousand,
whereas before the Revolution it had been 300 -- and so it went on. It was
like a single equation with two unknowns. It might very well be that
literally every word in the history books, even the things that one
accepted without question, was pure fantasy. For all he knew there might
never have been any such law as the jus primae noctis, or any such creature
as a capitalist, or any such garment as a top hat.
Everything faded into mist. The past was erased, the erasure was
forgotten, the lie became truth. Just once in his life he had possessed --
after the event: that was what counted -- concrete, unmistakable evidence
of an act of falsification. He had held it between his fingers for as long
as thirty seconds. In 1973, it must have been -- at any rate, it was at
about the time when he and Katharine had parted. But the really relevant
date was seven or eight years earlier.
The story really began in the middle sixties, the period of the great
purges in which the original leaders of the Revolution were wiped out once
and for all. By 1970 none of them was left, except Big Brother himself. All
the rest had by that time been exposed as traitors and counter-
revolutionaries. Goldstein had fled and was hiding no one knew where, and
of the others, a few had simply disappeared, while the majority had been
executed after spectacular public trials at which they made confession of
their crimes. Among the last survivors were three men named Jones,


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