Why I write

Why I write

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Lindsay’s Review

George Orwell’s short collection of essays is both enjoyable and hard-hitting. From a story set in his time in Burma that reveals the comic pathos of the Imperial justice system to his thoughts on Britain during the Nazi bombing of London. The longest and most detailed essay outlines the need for Britain to adopt a form of guided socialist democracy to meet the industrial requirements for winning the war. Orwell not only makes a strong and interesting case; his analysis of the British cultural character is striking in its succinct and almost brutal understanding of the national psyche, while remaining empathetic to his country’s plight. It is fascinating to see how even Orwell could not foresee the present problems for Britain, and the deep changes being wrought in UK society today. 
 

 

The first essay in which Orwell outlines his slow path towards becoming a writer will be appreciated by anyone struggling to express the hidden manuscript in their soul. It’s also refreshing to hear his humility, even to the point of self-deprecation, in his account of his writing career. The final essay in which Orwell analyses and laments what he regards as the laziness evident in the use of the English language is even more relevant in today’s world of sloppy journalism and hurried social media posts. A close reading of his observations and criticisms should encourage us re-evaluate our society’s disregard of precise, accurate language and the cliché-ridden mediocrity of some of our works of literature. A great addition to your literature collection, or a wonderful and useful gift for aspiring authors. 

 

Publishers Review 

You've had The Big Read, now here comes The Big Think.

Throughout history, some books have changed the world. They have transformed the way we see ourselves - and each other. They have inspired debate, dissent, war and revolution. They have enlightened, outraged, provoked and comforted. They have enriched lives - and destroyed them. Now Penguin brings you the works of the great thinkers, pioneers, radicals and visionaries whose ideas shook civilization, and helped make us who we are.

Whether puncturing the lies of politicians, wittily dissecting the English character or telling unpalatable truths about war, Orwell's timeless, uncompromising essays are more relevant, entertaining and essential than ever in today's era of spin.

 

Eric Arthur Blair (1903-1950), better known by his pen-name, George Orwell, was born in India, where his father worked for the Civil Service. An author and journalist, Orwell was one of the most prominent and influential figures in twentieth-century literature. His unique political allegory Animal Farm was published in 1945, and it was this novel, together with the dystopia of Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949), which brought him world-wide fame. His novels and non-fiction include Burmese Days, Down and Out in Paris and London, The Road to Wigan Pier and Homage to Catalonia.