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Orwell's "1984" no longer sold at state bookstores but other books remain
Orwell's "1984" can hardly be found in Minsk / Euroradio
Belarusian state propaganda tries to prove that the Ministry of Information of Belarus did not ban the anti-utopian book "1984" by George Orwell. They say the book is not dangerous and people can read anything they want.
We do not know whether there was an order to ban it, but one thing is certain: "Belkniga" has removed "1984" from its shelves. The salespeople say they "don't know the reason". A couple of days ago, the book was there, and now it's gone.
The readers of Euroradio recently visited several sales outlets of the Belkniga bookstore. Orwell was plentiful there, but "1984", which tells about a world of total unfreedom and tyranny, was not found.
There are only two copies of "1984" left in a state bookstore (not in Belkniga), and readers bought all the rest in a matter of days.
"We have heard that Belkniga is returning "1984" to the market," said a salesman at a state store, which had two "forbidden" Orwellian books. "I sold them [copies of "1984"] like hotcakes, with only two left. Yesterday, we were the only ones selling them. As to whether we'll take them off the market -- I can't say, it's very unpredictable".
In private bookstores, you'll find "1984" more often, even in hardcover. Those bookstores which couldn't find the Orwellian dystopia on the shelves explain that the book is out of stock and no one else can buy it. But they plan to sell "1984" further.
Yanushkevich defeats state propaganda
No sooner had the book publisher Andrei Yanushkevich opened his "Knihauka" bookstore in Minsk than the state media pounced on him. The propagandists were outraged that Yanushkevich was selling books about Belarus, moreover, in the Belarusian language. They said, "Look - there are archive photos of fascists and unflattering references to Suvorov!"
The propagandists do not seem to have realized that the pictures and content of scientific and historical books may not coincide with their worldview. After the visit of under-journalists to the "Knihauka" Andrei Yanushkevich was arrested in line with all the canons of Orwellian anti-utopia.
But Yanushkevich's case lives on: books of his publishing house can be found on the shelves of state and private Belarusian bookstores. According to the sellers, they are not going anywhere.