George Orwell, the essayist: The Spike

It was late afternoon. Forty-nine of us, forty-eight men and one woman, lay on the green waiting for the spike to open. We were too tired to talk much. We just sprawled about exhaustedly, with home-made cigarettes sticking out of our scrubby faces.

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1942 – A Year Well Spent, pt 1, by Desmond Avery

In his ‘London Letter’ to American readers dated 1 January 1942, Orwell mentions that Dylan Thomas is doing jobs for the BBC and the Ministry of Information. ‘So is nearly everybody that used to be a writer, and most of us rapidly going native.’ It implies that one cannot write for the government and still be a proper writer, but the tenor of this whole piece suggests the opposite.