The Memory Hole
Recovered from the memory hole: Articles from the broader archives, in reverse chronological order and sorted by topic .
During WW2, the author and broadcaster Eric Blair (George Orwell) worked for the BBC’s Eastern Service, and moved within the rarefied cultural circles occupied by luminaries such as HG Wells, David Astor, and Frederic Warburg among others. This passage from 1984 has been said to allude to his tenure at the BBC: “In the walls of the cubicle there were three orifices. To the right of the speakwrite, a small pneumatic tube for written messages, to the left, a larger one for newspapers; and in the side wall, within easy reach of Winston’s arm, a large oblong slit protected by a wire grating. This last was for the disposal of waste paper. Similar slits existed in thousands or tens of thousands throughout the building, not only in every room but at short intervals in every corridor. For some reason they were nicknamed memory holes. When one knew that any document was due for destruction, or even when one saw a scrap of waste paper lying about, it was an automatic action to lift the flap of the nearest memory hole and drop it in, whereupon it would be whirled away on a current of warm air to the enormous furnaces which were hidden somewhere in the recesses of the building.” - George Orwell, 1984
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