Orwellian has become the go-to adjective to describe any situation of seemingly heavy-handed government surveillance or intervention. In a way it’s kind of a compliment, that you produced a work so evocative, so incisive that it comes to be seen as an ideal summation of a specific notion. A part of me also thinks that it’s a shame that those things we usually describe as Orwellian are really only relevant to Nineteen Eighty-Four, and not Orwell’s quite varied body of work.
Kafkaesque is another literary proper adjective (an adjective derived from a proper noun), which is more fitting, as much of Franz Kafka’s work has that sense of an individual dwarfed and alone in a world of uncaring, overwhelming bureaucracy that the adjective describes. If you’re a psychologist you might describe yourself as a Freudian or a Jungian. Much has recently been made of Donald Trump’s Keynesian economic policies. Continue reading