The thing that strikes one in the BBC – and it is evidently the same in various of the other departments – is not so much the moral squalor and the ultimate futility of what we are doing, as the feeling of frustration, the impossibility of getting anything done, even any successful piece of scoundrelism. Our policy is so ill-defined, the disorganisation so great, there are so many changes of plan, and the fear and hatred of intelligence are so all-pervading, that one cannot plan any sort of wireless campaign whatsoever. . .
The very fact that Orwell chose to review Robbie's book may be significant. In his phrasing – 'Those who knew the author in Mandalay' and 'Those who knew Captain Robinson in the old days' – he clearly indicates his acquaintance with Robbie. This is reinforced by his expressed pleasure in seeing the photograph of him…completely cured of the opium habit and apparently well-adjusted and happy, in spite of his blindness. I maintain that the various similarities outlined above fairly convincingly support my theory that 'the Poet' was the future George Orwell, but of course I am ready to be proved wrong.
The Unsung Artistry of George Orwell by Loraine Saunders, reviewed by John Rodden Ashgate Publishers159 pagesISBN 978-0-7546-6440-6 ‘Disclosing the integral aesthetic components of the distinctive style that Orwell developed in his early realistic novels of the 1930s, Loraine Saunders hits just the right note in her literary analysis of Burmese Days, A Clergyman’s Daughter, Keep…Read more The Unsung Artistry of George Orwell, review