George Orwell: Fugitive from the Camp of Victory

George Orwell: Fugitive from the Camp of Victory

George Orwell: Fugitive from the Camp of Victory

George Orwell: Fugitive from the Camp of Victory

Excerpt

It is appropriate that the volume on George Orwell in the Crosscurrents series has been written by Sir Richard Rees, not just because he was among the first to publish and encourage Orwell, but also because he writes of the man and his work with valuable insight and enviable skill.

Orwell is particularly noted for his criticism of the world we live in; but it is a criticism which, even in its satirical extremes, is not tinged with personal bitterness. In this he differs from Swift, whom he in some ways resembles, and about whom he wrote a brilliant essay. Like Swift, Orwell was a master of plain prose that had nothing in it of the ornamental or the finicky. His writing went in a clean, hard line.

This quality of Orwell's was apparent in one of the early sketches Richard Rees mentions prominently in the present book: "The Spike," which as part of Orwell's subsequent book, The Road to Wigan Pier, retains its force. Rees published "The Spike" in the Adelphi under Orwell's own name, Eric Blair. I can remember asking Rees at the time who this new author was who wrote so powerfully, and he told me a little about him. Rees later became better acquainted with Orwell, and in this volume he gives us his seasoned memories of the man. These come at the end . . .

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