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George Orwell Channeled by Karl Mollison 20Nov2018


Eric Arthur Blair (25 June 1903 – 21 January 1950), better known by his pen name George Orwell, was an English novelist, essayist, journalist and critic whose work is marked by lucid prose, awareness of social injustice, opposition to totalitarianism and outspoken support of democratic socialism. 

Orwell wrote literary criticism, poetry, fiction and polemical journalism. He is best known for the allegorical novella Animal Farm (1945) and the dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949). His non-fiction works, including The Road to Wigan Pier (1937), documenting his experience of working class life in the north of England, and Homage to Catalonia (1938), an account of his experiences in the Spanish Civil War, are widely acclaimed, as are his essays on politics, literature, language and culture. In 2008, The Times ranked him second on a list of “The 50 greatest British writers since 1945”. 

Orwell’s work continues to influence popular and political culture and the term “Orwellian”— descriptive of totalitarian or authoritarian social practices—has entered the language together with many of his neologisms, including “Big Brother”, “Thought Police”, “Room 101”, “memory hole”, “newspeak”, “doublethink”, “proles”, “unperson” and “thoughtcrime”. Some of his notable quotes from: 

“Do remember that dishonesty and cowardice always have to be paid for. Don’t imagine that for years on end you can make yourself the boot -licking propagandist of the Soviet régime, or any other régime, and then suddenly return to mental decency. Once a whore, always a whore.” (The Tribune – 1st September 1944) 

“If you disregard people’s motives, it becomes much harder to foresee their actions.” (The Tribune – 8th December 1944) 

“Each generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it. This is an illusion, and one should recognise it as such, but one ought also to stick to one’s own world-view, even at the price of seeming old-fashioned: for that world-view springs out of experiences that the younger generation has not had, and to abandon it is to kill one’s intellectual roots.” (Poetry Quarterly – Winter 1945) 

“To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle.” (Letter to The Tribune – 22nd March 1946) 

“At 50, everyone has the face he deserves.” (last entry in his diary dated June, 1949)

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