A Collection of Essays

A Collection of EssaysGeorge Orwell S Collected Nonfiction, Written In The Clear Eyed And Uncompromising Style That Earned Him A Critical Following One Of The Most Thought Provoking And Vivid Essayists Of The Twentieth Century, George Orwell Fought The Injustices Of His Time With Singular Vigor Through Pen And Paper In This Selection Of Essays, He Ranges From Reflections On His Boyhood Schooling And The Profession Of Writing To His Views On The Spanish Civil War And British Imperialism The Pieces Collected Here Include The Relatively Unfamiliar And The Celebrated, Making It An Ideal Compilation For Both New And Dedicated Readers Of Orwell S Work. Update this just like Forrest Gump s box of chocolates, you never know what you re going to get next As the dark war torn year of 1940 begins, what does Orwell begin the year with Why, a 50 page dissection of the work of Charles Dickens and expressed with such breathtaking authority too in spite of his generosity of mind, he is not free from the special prejudices of the shabby genteel It is usual to claim him as a popular writer, a champion of the oppressed masses but there are two things that condition his attitude In the first place, he is a south of England man, a Cockney at that, and therefore out of touch with the bulk of the real oppressed masses, the industrial and agricultural labourers It is interesting to see how Chesterton, another Cockney, always presents Dickens as a spokesman of the poor , without showing much awareness of who the poor really are To Chesterton, the poor means small shopkeepers and servants The other point is that Dickens s early experiences have given him a horror of proletarian roughness I never read Orwell Ok, Animal Farm back in school That s all And he must be one of the most banged on about authors in the history of the written word So it really became incumbent upon one to give him a go I wasn t looking forward that much Wasn t he just going to be spouting the received centre left opinion of his day and waxing on a
Numerous inadequate volumes of Orwell s superlative essays are available from legit presses and bootleggers, bundled together under thematic pretences or skinnied down to the longer essential writings This monolithic hardback includes the famous and forever pleasurable classics Shooting an Elephant best thing written on Burma ever , Charles Dickens best criticism of Dickens ever , Bookshop Memories best thing written on bookshops ever , and so on Included here are the As I Please columns all 80 , presenting the relaxed and conversational side of George, along with the magnificent book reviews George s fondness for Henry Miller and Joyce on show The longer essays include, to name some , Such, Such Were the Joys perhaps the finest encapsulation of Orwell s politics and outlook , Books v Cigarettes the greatest guilt trip about not buying books ever , Politics and the English Language the finest handbook for journalists ever And so on No bookshelf is complete without
You would think that essays about politics and culture written in the 1940s might feel dated But Orwell brings a clear immediacy to his writing A few of these essays are brilliant All are relevant. The best collection of essays that I ve read so far.14 well written essays by Eric Arthur Blair 1903 1950 also known as George Orwell It covers a wide range of topics from his childhood, Spanish Civil War, Mahatma Gandhi, Charles Dickens, Rudyard Kipling, Jewish religion, politics, etc to his shooting of an elephant while serving as a police in Burma Perfectly written in his trademark direct, clear and taut writing the style that I first encountered in his political satirical sci fi 1984 and political fable Animal Farm.The only difference is that these are non fiction The essays made me understand what kind of a man George Orwell was a lover of equality, justice and free will Such, Such Were the Joys 5 stars Amazing A very moving memoir of Orwell s stay at Crossgates, a school for the rich students in England He only afforded to go to that school because he was a bright boy The school kept him because he had a good chance of passing entrance exams in the prestigious universities later and that would help maintaining the image of the school The one part that I found so sad was that the little George did not have a cake year after year during his stay at that school because his parents could not afford it and this was just one of the ways for a poor but bright pupil cou
What I have most wanted to do throughout the past ten years is to make political writing into an art. George Orwell is one of the inescapable writers of the last century Far from becoming irrelevant, his works seem to become significant with each passing year as most recently evidenced by the present administration s strained relationship with the truth Orwell himself said that the final test of any work of art is survival, and his works seem on track to pass this final test His dystopian novel recently became a surprise best seller, almost seventy years after its initial publication That is than mere survival.And yet it isn t for his political insights that I opened this collection of essays It was rather and I feel somewhat silly saying this for his writing style Orwell s writing is, for me, a model of modern prose His style can accommodate both the abstract and the concrete, the homely and the refined, the pretentious and the vulgar his prose can satisfy both the academic and the artist, the intellectual and the layperson, the Panurge and the parish priest It is unmistakably
This is an enormous doorstop of a book, with over 1,300 pages of George Orwell s essays Of course that doesn t cover everything he wrote, but it s an awful lot While best known for his novels Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty Four, Orwell was probably a better essayist than a novelist This volume contains Orwell s best and most famous essays, printed many places including online , like Such, Such Were the Joys, Shooting an Elephant, and Politics and the English Language It also includes other thought provoking but harder to find essays like A Hanging, and Notes on Nationalism, as well as the excellent and still very relevant preface to the first edition of Animal Farm, The Freedom of the Press As you would expect, there s plenty here of Orwell s favorite topics, totalitarianism, fascism, communism, and imperialism, but also much about the little details of everyday life, from how to make the perfect cup of tea to his concept of an ideal pub This collection has all 80 of the As I Please columns that Orwell wrote for the Tribune, a column that can be political but just as often addresses grammar and word choice, attacks clich d writing, and bemoans the lack of technological advancement in activities such as washing dishes Orwell wrote many book reviews as well, most of which serve as a format for him to express his opinions than as a discussion of th
man, this book is such a great old friend Orwell is skyrocketing up my list of major 20th century writers with every one of the 255 pages I ve thus far read of this 1300 page behemoth The man was amazingly prescient, at a deep, detailed level.This was one of the best collections of essays I ve ever read, probably second only to Freeman Dyson s The Scientist as a Rebel Across 1363 pages of essays from 1928 1949 the vast majority of them coming from 1938 1946 , written for a wide gamut of publications, Orwell manages to repeat himself only a few times usually clearly relished zingers a fine show of editing, as each annoying bit of repetition is found within an essay that simply couldn t have been left out due to other unique, interesting points Having read it, I feel far conversant with the politics of the pre war years, the Fabian Society inspired English breed of socialism, the demise of Given the 70 years that have passed since the publication of most of these essays, I ve weighted my evaluation of this collection toward those essays that still retain some relevance.And granted, there is some seriously anachronistic stuff here Some real snoozers that are stuck so firmly in time and place that only the most devoted anglophiles or Orwellians would be interested The Art of Donald McGill , England Your England , Boys Weeklies.But the majority of essays are written with terrific clarity and foresight, carried by Orwell s power of observation and knack for capturing insight in pithy, memorable sentences Indeed, this is probably one the most quotable books I ve read in a long while Some examples you can only create if you care when the white man turns tyrant it is his own freedom he destroys The great enemy of clear language is insincerity No doubt alcohol, tobacco, and so forth are things a saint must avoid, but sainthood is also a thing human beings must avoid This command of the sentence is reminiscent of Emerson s best work But unlike Emerson, Orwell retains full command of the essay in form and function as well Even the most anachornistic essays in this collection are still focused and rooted in finely observed detail For this alone, Marrakech and Such, Such Were the Joys are worth reading.But Orwell s sharpest an
A few years ago I read a study about Bette Davis by someone or other I cannot recall the name of the author or of the book but I remember very clearly how at the end I admired the skill of Davis as an actor than I had before reading but admired her as an actual person a good deal less You probably never thought that Bette Davis, drama queen and movie siren would sit comfortably alongside George Orwell in a review and perhaps they don t, though I have heard George did a mean Joan Crawford impression , but at the end of this series of essays I think I have a similar reaction to him and his craft.The essays and articles span the last 20 years of his life and include the prose for which he is famous such as his account of taking part in the execution of a rebel in Burma and of the shooting of a rogue elephant down through his accounts of sleeping rough or his being hospitalized in a mediocre hospital in France and then on through his clarion calls for the ending of the inequality and oppression of the state, the hypocrisy and obfuscation of varying Governments doublespeak and then lilting and amusing reflections on the power of a nice cup of tea, the draw of the bookshop and the unlikely herald of spring, the toad.The articles and essays are fascinating and are emminently quotable but I will restrain myself
Selected essays I thought the essays here on Dickens and Kipling were revelations About ninety percent of the essays cited by other authors that I have read are included here I also particularly liked Inside the Whale, a paean to Henry Miller s masterpiece, Tropic of Cancer.