Essay fiction orwell reader reportage

An article about his experiences when he was poor in Paris.

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About the horrors of being poor; hungry and cold; but also the comfort of not having any worries at all; because you have nothing to lose. That was incredible. Also I read that famous article that he wrote while the planes were bombarding him in London during a war. I wonder how somebody can write with so much clarity while bombs are falling all around; but he managed to do it.

He is admirable! Apr 14, Matt rated it it was amazing Shelves: politik , social-crit. This is just a necessary Orwell is a fine corrective not to say tonic for one's mind and moral imagination. This greatest-hits collection pretty much has it all. Excerpts from his fiction including his sparkling but lesser-read works, like "Wigan Pier" and "Down and Out Also, don't by any means forget his "Why I Write", which is not only a statement of purpose but also an essential apologia pro vita sua for one of the decent, articulate, self-critical, humane voices of the 20th Century What I have most wanted to do throughout the past ten years is to make political writing into an art.

My starting point is always a feeling of partisanship, a sense of injustice. When I sit down to write a book, I do not say to myself, 'I am going to produce a work of art.

But I could not do the work of writing a book, or even a long magazine article, if it were not also an aesthetic experience. Anyone who cares to examine my work will see that even when it is downright propaganda it contains much that a full-time politician would consider irrelevant. I am not able, and I do not want, completely to abandon the world view that I acquired in childhood. So long as I remain alive and well I shall continue to feel strongly about prose style, to love the surface of the earth, and to take a pleasure in solid objects and scraps of useless information.

It is no use trying to suppress this side of myself. The job is to reconcile my ingrained likes and dislikes with the essentially public, non-individual activities this age forces on all of us.


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I've got to find the time to sit down and actually give my attention this book. My copy was given to me by Dorothy Day upon the occasion of my twenty-second birthday, where she noted "I read and enjoyed this so much. I wanted you to have it. Jun 19, Rebekah rated it it was amazing Shelves: absolute-favorites. Blah Blah, , blah blah, Animal Farm Really his best work. If you don't think you'll tackle them all, then at least read the biggies- Politics and the English Language, The Hanging, Shooting an Elephant.

View 2 comments. Jan 03, Joe rated it it was amazing Shelves: essays , liberal-left , literature , reviewed , political-thought. He opens 'Shooting an Elephant', the first story in this collection, by telling us that he was hated by many people. He will spend the rest of the essay showing us why.

The Orwell reader; fiction, essays, and reportage (edition) | Open Library

The pointless death of an animal no longer harmful becomes the legal murder we witness in 'A Hanging'. In both cases we see people becoming their jobs, counting doing one's duty more important than being Review: August Homage to Orwell The honesty and realism of Orwell never ceases to amaze.

In both cases we see people becoming their jobs, counting doing one's duty more important than being human. He sees "the dirty work of Empire at close quarters" and knows that " imperialism is an evil thing" but continues to do his duty as both imperialist and colonist would see it.

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The amazing thing is that he is not alone in this. In "A Hanging" the hangman is a convict and after the deed is done we see both Europeans and natives laughing and drinking together. In "Shooting an Elephant" he is stuck between "hatred of the empire" and "rage against the evil-spirited little beasts" that made his job impossible. But again, we witness crowds of natives expecting him to be a Sahib. Orwell's stories show us the demoralizing duties, the pompous gravitas of Imperialism. It dehumanizes both rulers and ruled, turning them into the role they play rather than allowing them to become who they might have been.

Both fortunately and unfortunately, he also knows that, "the British Empire is dying [ His unsentimental love of ordinary people, coupled with the easy, natural, sympathetic description of complex characters, relationships and motivations, reveal Orwell as a man who was genuinely at home with ordinary people. Only he could write movingly of how imperialism traps freezes! Even people we might miss. The only one I have ever read who comes close is Camus on Algeria.

The Orwell Reader: Fiction, Essays, and Reportage

In '' only excerpted in this collection , a prophesy of what the Empires destined to replace the British empire could become, it was his ear for the corruption of language by permanent war that struck me, when I first read it well over three decades ago, as the perfect lens for viewing the lies spoken daily by both sides during the Vietnam War. Also, Orwell's insight into the political necessity of continual crises to keep the people both frightened and grateful for protection explained rather nicely how the communists or Islamic Fundamentalists today could work with us and we with them whenever it was politically convenient to do so.

In the collection of literary pieces what surprises is that a man of the left like Orwell, who was always a socialist, could appreciate authors as patriotic and conservative as Dickens and Kipling. We should always measure men by whether they can appreciate the strengths of their enemies. To my mind it is the height of civility in our twisted world to be able to admire an enemy whom someday you may have to kill.

George Orwell: A Life in Pictures Full Documentary (High Quality)

We need to remember that there always is, or at least always should be, something beyond and above politics. But much of Orwell's posthumous fame comes from his writing on communism. As well it should, he was among the very few famous intellectuals Camus and Koestler also come to mind who forthrightly criticized the Soviet dictatorship. But he always remained a man of the left. It was during the cold war that this admirer of decency, virtue, and honesty; to say nothing of socialism, was dishonestly dragooned into being a cold warrior by, among others, Commentary magazine.

They went so far as to call him a neo-conservative, twenty-five years before the fact! They should learn how to read. Yes, the critique of totalitarian communism is there, perhaps expressed better than anywhere else. Here he is interacting directly with the type of Monster dimly limned in He didn't need to read about the communist's mania to dominate every coalition they enter into, he lived through it. He saw in Barcelona the destruction of a genuine working class movement by the disgraceful collusion of liberals and communists.

When Franco led much of the Spanish army into revolt it was the workers who spontaneously resisted. They formed workers' committees to run the factories and workers' militias to win the war.

In Catalonia, the anarchists, the radical wing of the worker's movement, were stronger than the socialist parties. In Madrid, a loose governing coalition of liberal and socialist parties was attempting to win the war not only on the battlefield but in the court of world opinion. In plain English, this meant do not appear too radical. You see, socialism worried liberal, capitalist nations like England and France; but anarchism scared them to death.

The Orwell Reader: Fiction, Essays, and Reportage

As time went on the government drifted to the right. Orwell was not shocked by this. He understood the diplomatic necessities as well as anyone. What did surprise him was that this rightward drift coincided with ever strengthening ties with the Soviet Union. You see, all the Soviets cared about was the defense of the Soviet Union, and to them this meant the politics of the Popular Front. In the thirties this meant an alliance between everyone communists, liberals, conservatives against Hitler and Fascism.

An alliance at any cost. So farewell workers control, workers' councils, and workers' militias; this would be just another bourgeois war. And that's what shocked him. Even though Orwell initially favored this policy, as did most of the European Left, he changed his mind when he saw it in action. He too had believed that the most important thing was to win the war.

But the suppression of independent socialists like the Troskyite P. And isn't that vintage Orwell? This man of honesty and integrity, who would report exactly what happened, even when it went against what he believed or wanted. It would have been an honor to have George Orwell as a friend, an ally, - or an enemy. Men like this illuminate our world. Jan 27, Terry rated it really liked it Shelves: get-again. I wish we had more journalists of Orwell's caliber writing today.

It's difficult to map his views and insights to the world we have today except in the general sense of power and oppressed peoples. Feb 24, Rebecca rated it it was amazing. Some authors seem so close in temperament and world view to yourself that it's as though they were writing directly to you, speaking to a part of you that you never even realized could be written about at all, much less in such a clear and resonant way.

That's what reading this book was like for me. My previous exposure to Orwell was reading Animal Farm in middle school which I remember nothing about except that it had evil pigs and was an allegory of something or other and , which I read for the f Some authors seem so close in temperament and world view to yourself that it's as though they were writing directly to you, speaking to a part of you that you never even realized could be written about at all, much less in such a clear and resonant way.

My previous exposure to Orwell was reading Animal Farm in middle school which I remember nothing about except that it had evil pigs and was an allegory of something or other and , which I read for the first time just a year or so ago and loved. I originally bought this collection of Orwell's writing just to get access to one particular essay of his that I couldn't find anywhere else -- Lear, Tolstoy and the Fool.

I decided to start reading the whole book and see if I liked it, and if not, I could always just skip to the essay I wanted. But once I started, I had no desire to stop. I never knew before how rich and full Orwell's life was. He seems to have done more in his 47 years than most people can accomplish in the typical year life expectancy.