Keep the Aspidistra Flying in Hampstead

By Lorcan Greene ‘The clock struck twelve. Gordon had stretched his legs straight out. The bed had grown warm and comfortable. The upturned beam of a car, somewhere in the street parallel to Willowbed Road, penetrated the blind and threw into silhouette a leaf of the aspidistra, shaped like Agamemnon’s sword.’ This passage, taken from…Read more Keep the Aspidistra Flying in Hampstead

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Is Gordon Comstock’s World an Improvement on Gissing’s?

By Loraine Saunders Orwell certainly thought the answer to the above question was ‘yes’. He wrote, ‘There are many reasons, and George Gissing’s novels are among them, for thinking that the present age is a good deal better than the last one.’i Despite the gloomy atmosphere pervading Gissing’s novels, he was Orwell’s favourite novelist and…Read more Is Gordon Comstock’s World an Improvement on Gissing’s?

April 1936: The Publication of George Orwell's Keep The Aspidstra Flying

George Orwell's third novel was published by his established publisher, Victor Gollancz, on April 20th 1936. He had previously published Burmese Days and A Clergyman's Daughter: but while those two novels were based on his own experiences, Keep The Aspidstra Flying had a protagonist, Gordon Comstock, who seemed much more like Orwell himself. Orwell, though,…Read more April 1936: The Publication of George Orwell's Keep The Aspidstra Flying

Homage to literary journalism

Richard Lance Keeble celebrates Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia as a wonderful example of literary journalism, focusing on just the opening pages One of the most striking aspects of Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia (1938), his eye-witness account of fighting alongside the Republican militia in the Spanish Civil War (1936-1937), is the range of literary genres and…Read more Homage to literary journalism

Orwell’s battle with the intelligentsia, or what the new Left Book Club can learn from the old one

By Oscar Clarke Nearly seven decades after the last one folded, a new Left Book Club has been founded. It has just released its first title – a book about the Syriza movement – and the timing could hardly be more appropriate. For, if nothing else, Jeremy Corbyn’s victory in the Labour leadership election is…Read more Orwell’s battle with the intelligentsia, or what the new Left Book Club can learn from the old one

The Guardian Publishes the Saturday Poem: Summer for an Instant

"The Saturday poem: Summer for an Instant by George Orwell (published in the Adelphi Magazine, May 1933) Summer-like for an instant the autumn sun bursts out, And the light through the turning elms is green and clear, It slants down the path and the ragged marigolds glow Fiery again, last flames of the dying year.…Read more The Guardian Publishes the Saturday Poem: Summer for an Instant