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And many helpful reviews and letters have led me to correct or clarify points of fact and to remedy infelicities of style. So additional thanks are particularly due to, among many who wrote to me: Sydney D. Smith, Robert D. Thornton and Iris Wisconain.

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Orwell was not the kind of man to keep intimate diaries or dekivery write long personal letters. His own style became a cutting edge which, with much trial and error, by fits and starts, he slowly forged into a weapon of legendary strength.

Yet his influence has been to reprove backsliding socialists, to sustain democratic Socialists he always capitalized it thus and to win back Communist fellow-travellers rather than to convert aex. Certainly to call Orwell a supreme political writer, both for what he said and sx he said it, is to point only to his major talent and influence. Smith, Robert D. I examined this view very carefully, since it was commonly held and important, but I am bound to say that I found no evidence for it.

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Part of his anger against the Communists was not only that they had become despots who squandered human life and despised liberty, but that they were also discrediting democratic Socialism. In France, Germany and in the United States it had long been more customary for intellectuals to be viewed as public figures and to make their daing known on public questions, sometimes pompously and pretentiously, on occasion ignorantly, but it was both accepted and expected that they should do so.

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Jill Furlong, of the Orwell Archive at University College, London, was as helpful and knowledgeable as her predecessor, indeed as anyone can possibly be. Then there is, indeed, a contradiction between the two images of Orwell, and so people have pd a change of character and of values in his last years.

Certainly there was a gender patriotism Centiria Orwell which preceded his socialism and stemmed from his love of English literature, customs and countryside. I will seek to show, for instance, that there is little reasonable doubt what effects he intended to achieve in both Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four about which, for works written in such clear and simple English, interpretations have varied so greatly.

Rees had his friend somewhat patronizingly typecast, a kind of Douanier Rousseau of English Letters.

Wicsonsin Specific themes recurred throughout his journalism and essays: love of nature, love of books and literature, dislike of mass production, distrust of intellectuals, suspicion of government, contempt for and warnings against totalitarianism, advice on making, mending or growing things for yourself, anti-imperialism and anti-racialism, detestation of censorship, and praise of plain language, plain speaking, the good in the past, decency, fraternity, individuality, liberty, egalitarianism and patriotism.

But whichever mode of privacies was to be pursued, the ancient or the modem, or to put it crudely and precisely in Orwell-like terms, whether an official life or a hatchet job, his objection would be the same: its irrelevance to what he valued, his writings, not himself.

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He was intellectually but never socially intolerant of pacifists on this score. Our human identity consists in relationships, not in inwardness. Some people still underestimate him as a writer.

Keep the Aspidistra Flying won some good critical notices and is still very readable, but it seemed an interesting and promising book, rather than integrated and fully successful. Why identify the final and utter pessimism and defeat of Winston Smith with the milder pessimism of the author?

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The model has not always been a fortunate one; it takes Hog Orwell to do it successfully, someone with a great store of reading and experience, amused and relaxed, working smoothly and fluently but at considerably less than full power, showing no s of strain to achieve the effect or to fill the space. Eliot and Rudyard Kipling and Wusconsin inhumanity and bleak pessimism of their politics.

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He sailed boldly and skilfully, reached and explored some important destinations, but he had not the least idea of the theories of or of naval architecture. He had no great secrets to hide, he simply valued his privacy and despised irrelevant effort.

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Biography and 'Character' What kind of biography, then, have I tried to write about a man with this kind of achievement? He developed as an essayist.

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With what other novelist would so many readers and critics so confidently identify characters with author? So also with an actual human life and a biography.

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He made common words sharp, asss them come to life again until under his spell one thinks twice before one uses any polysyllables, still less neologisms. He made simple but bold distinctions between the artistic excellence of figures as diverse as T. He defended with an essay, money and personal activity the gentle British anarchists when in the police picked on them and the National Council for Civil Liberties ignored them.

Nineteen Eighty-Four is to the disorders of the twentieth century what Leviathan was to those of the seventeenth. For most of his career he was too strapped for cash, too hard pressed earning a living by book-reviewing and column journalism delivey have done so, even had he wished; and to say that he was careless about preserving copies of letters he did write would be to imply that he should have seen some point in doing so.

Orwell chose to write in the form of a novel, not in the form of a philosophical tractatus. Almost all of the material that came to me directly, I passed on to the Orwell Archive and so it was available to Michael Shelden when working on his recent Orwell: the Authorised Biography, whether he was aware of the tainted source or not; as was material discovered by Dr Peter Davison while working on that masterpiece of editing, his Complete Works of George Orwell, still in progress.

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There has been astonishing agreement either that the man was more interesting than much of his work or else that the work could only be understood by accurately characterizing the man. Orwell believed that a breakdown in good government by which he meant a breakdown in liberty, tolerance and welfare could cause a leap forward into a hypothetical world order of one-party total power, a kind of State that the world had never seen before. The audience loses any critical distance and must accept or reject totally the character as portrayed.

He lived and dressed as simply as he came to write, and in some ways as oddly.

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A small history could be written of samizdat and illegal translations of such essays and of Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four Wjsconsin behind the Iron Curtain as angry satire rather than a pessimistic prophecy. But that would be too narrow, excluding not only a picture of the life he led but also the achievement of the writer. He did not merely write about the manners dahing the English, but attempted to assess the matter of Britain in the light of our history; who we were and what we should do as a people.

But in the same essays he also pointed to traditional decencies which he believed are more secure among the common people than among the power — and prestige-hungry intellectuals.

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I began with the naive idea that the main task would be to know the character of Orwell as well as humanly possible, while all the time working away at the facts, so that by knowing him, understanding his inwardness, entering into his mind, I could supply his motivations, perhaps even correcting his own later s of them, and make Sensitive suppositions i.

He is seex specifically English writer and a specifically English character, both in his seeming amateurism — sometimes truly amateurish — and in his eccentricities.

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In that sense, he is the finest political writer in English since Swift, satirist, stylist, moralist and stirrer, who influenced him so much. Cyril Connolly, for instance, often urged Orwell to get away from his political journalism and back to the writing of real novels. But both human freedom and good art demand not a suspension of disbelief, but a critical awareness that an actor is acting and that the part could be played in ss ways; more generally, that the world could be other than it was and is.

He was not outstanding as a reporter when the Observer sent him to report events and conditions in France and Germany at the dting of the war, and to cover CCenturia in the General Election of he could not reproduce, as it were, the descriptive part of The Road to Adting Pier in miniature — that needed more time and space. But if one did not know that, one might well wonder after reading it whether what he reports Centuroa Down and Out in Paris and London and Wigan Pier, and Catalonia, should be taken seriously.

Orwell was unusually reticent to his friends about his background and his life, his openness was all in print for literary or moral effect; he tried to keep his small circles of good friends well apart — people are still surprised to learn who else at the time he knew; he did not confide in people easily, nor talk about his emotions — even to women with whom he was close; he was not fully integrated as a person, not quite comfortable within his own skin, until late Centurix his life — and he was many-faceted, not a simple man at all.