Orwell the essayist: Such, Such Were the Joys

Soon after I arrived at St Cyprian’s... I began wetting my bed. I was now aged eight, so that this was a reversion to a habit which I must have grown out of at least four years earlier. Nowadays, I believe, bed-wetting in such circumstances is taken for granted. It is a normal reaction in children who have been removed from their homes to a strange place. In those days, however, it was looked on as a disgusting crime which the child committed on purpose and for which the proper cure was a beating.

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1942 – A Well Spent Year by Desmond Avery

His novels up till this watershed in his writing life expressed disgust at the status quo, frustration at the apparent impossibility of changing it, and consequent self-disgust. They heaped scorn on existing people and institutions in potentially actionable ways which routinely put his first publisher, Victor Gollancz, into a state of extreme anxiety. They were also weakly plotted and contained two-dimensional characters, unsolved problems and improbable events.

The Unsung Artistry of George Orwell, review

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

Orwell and Sport, by Peter Davison

ORWELL AND SPORT – Peter Davison Published by Finlay Publisher March–May 2009   Schooldays ‘I had to be jolly quick to pick them up [shots at goal] and kick them, because most of the chaps [on] the other side were in aufel [sic] rats and they were runing [sic] at me like angry dogs’. So…Read more Orwell and Sport, by Peter Davison

Coming Up For Air revisited

Coming Up For Air, 2008-2009 theatre production image COMING UP FOR AIR REVISITED:  ORWELL, ENGLAND and THE IDEA OF ESCAPE Extract from a lecture given at the International Conference hosted at Lille University – “George Orwell, une conscience politique du XXe siècle” 19-20 March, 2010, by Dominic Cavendish Besides Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four, Coming…Read more Coming Up For Air revisited