Thursday, October 25, 2007

George Orwell - (Eric Blair) 1903-1950

Neil has just blogged on: George Orwell exposed!
Mainly that conservtives often quote Eric and how he changed from being a communist whereas he may have rejected dictators like Stalin but he did remain a Socialist and supporter of the Labour Party.

Do read George Orwell - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I am pleased to say I own at least one first edition of something and it is:
George Orwell: The English People. Publisher: 'Collins'. GB, London. 1947
A wonderful short essay on the English as he saw them.

A quote follows

during the Jubilee (George V) the rather servile slogan "Poor but Loyal." Other
slogans, however, coupled loyalty to the King with hostility to the landlord,
such as "Long Live the King. Down With the Landlord," or more often,
"No Landlords Wanted" or "Landlords Keep Away." It is too early to say
whether royalist sentiment was killed outright by the Abdication (1936) , but
unquestionably the Abdication dealt it a serious blow. Over the past four
hundred years it has waxed or waned according to circumstances. Queen
Victoria, for instance, was decidedly unpopular during part of her reign,
and in the first quarter of the nineteenth century public interest in the
Royal Family was not nearly as strong as it was a hundred years later. At
this moment the mass of the English people are probably mildly republican.
But it may well be that another long reign, similar to that of George V,
would revive royalist feeling and make it-as it was between roughly 1880
and 1936-an appreciable factor in politics
George wrote that in 1943 I suppose as surely by 1947 it was clear that George VI had revived royalist feeling with his two lovely daughters and the way the family behaved in WW2. And here we are 60 years after the book with a Queen who has reigned 54 years. I wonder what George would say now about republican position in England.

His great book was Nineteen Eighty-Four which in many ways was set in the dismal England of 1948 under rationing and with a Labour government . Recently we had a discussion on Movies and Neil and I both set Brazil (film) high on our lists. Made by Terry Gilliam in 1985 and obviously based on Eric's 1984 even though Terry says he never read the book. The office computers are modeled on 1948 Television sets and even show black and white cowboy films. An enormous romp of a film. See it. And perhaps first read the book and the Richard Burton film of

I got to the book through television the 1954 TV programme in which Peter Cushing was brilliant as Winston Smith - alas then Peter went on to a career as vampire killer.

The other well known book from George is Animal Farm- well worth reading - don't bother with the cartoon film. In this parody of Stalin and what happened to the Russian revolution Eric shows what changed his attitude to politics.

Of course Eric died at age 46 - at that age I myself was still supporting the ALP - if he had lived would Eric have changed?

On Neil's comment "The Road to Wigan Pier" is mentioned that and other books are on line from that link

No comments:

Post a Comment

I usually delete comments from Anonymous