As fake and illegitimate texts proliferate online, books are becoming a form of misinformation. The author of 1984 would not be surprised.

In George Orwell's 1984, the classics of literature are rewritten into Newspeak, a revision and reduction of the language meant to make bad thoughts literally unthinkable. "It's a beautiful thing, the destruction of words," one true believer exults.

Now some of the writer's own words are getting reworked in Amazon's vast virtual bookstore, a place where copyright laws hold remarkably little sway. Orwell's reputation may be secure, but his sentences are not.

Over the last few weeks I

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