Orwell And His Memory

Old Nov 14th 2019, 12:54 pm
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Default Orwell And His Memory

Come and join us in remembering the secular prophet Eric Blair on the Sunday nearest the date of his death. In Sutton Courtenay, near Oxford, 21 June 2020. PM me for details.
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Old Nov 15th 2019, 1:01 am
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Default Re: Orwell And His Memory

Well, as you see, my avatar is Eric Blair. I’ve felt very close to him all my life. I keep returning to his writings, the essays and journalism mostly, some of the novels.
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Old Nov 15th 2019, 5:16 am
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Default Re: Orwell And His Memory

Orwell was himself "an expat" while working for the Colonial Police in Burma. In his day that label had not been invented.It is a modern coinage and I will welcome its disappearance !

https://sites.google.com/site/orwell...l-police-force

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Old Nov 16th 2019, 6:58 pm
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Default Re: Orwell And His Memory

Those with an interest in George Orwell might like to look at this - https://orwellsocietyblog.wordpress.com/
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Old Nov 16th 2019, 7:20 pm
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Default Re: Orwell And His Memory

Here’s a review of a very interesting & unusual book about George Orwell, Eric & Us by Jacintha Buddicom, the new edition published in 2006.

https://www.theguardian.com/books/20...well.biography

Buddicom was a childhood friend of Eric Blair’s, so this is an unusual perspective. (That Guardian review looks interesting, I didn’t read it yet but I will.)

One of the interesting things about Orwell bibliography is that he adamantly did NOT want any biographies written about him. This desire was honoured for many years, I believe. It had a great influence on folks reading about Orwell and studying him in the 1950s and 60s. It meant you read the voluminous books, novels, journalism that he left behind, and perhaps scholarly books that studied his influence on our world, but there wasn’t much in the way of straight biography.

Of course, when the dam broke, it broke with a vengeance - there are so many biographies of Orwell available now it’s ridiculous. The Buddicom one is interesting and worth a read, though. You meet a very different person than the one Eric Blair painstakingly invented.
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Old Nov 16th 2019, 8:24 pm
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Default Re: Orwell And His Memory

In the 1960s when I found books by Orwell in the public library, secondary texts were simply not there. Now, as Robin says there are tonnes of commentaries, biographies and critical works. I think I preferred things as they were in my youth. Not just in the field of Orwelliana !
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Old Nov 16th 2019, 9:32 pm
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Default Re: Orwell And His Memory

Originally Posted by scot47 View Post
In the 1960s when I found books by Orwell in the public library, secondary texts were simply not there. Now, as Robin says there are tonnes of commentaries, biographies and critical works. I think I preferred things as they were in my youth. Not just in the field of Orwelliana !
Yes, and yes!

OK I just read that review article in the Guardian (my post two above this.) OMG. I realize now, I read the original edition of Buddicom’s book, 1973, but not the 2006 edition. Now I’ll have to find the 2006 ed.
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Old Nov 18th 2019, 9:11 pm
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Default Re: Orwell And His Memory

I read "1984" fifty or sixty years ago, and it raised the hairs on the back of my neck then. I must say I didn't expect it to become an Office Manual for the Western World's rulers!

Never did get around to reading all his books, but I liked every one I did read: "The Road to Wigan Pier", "Down and out in London & Paris", "Homage to Catalonia"... "Animal Farm" was a wonderful example of how stories don't have to be full-book length to be effective.

Those are the ones that spring to mind; there may have been others; I'll have to check with Wikipedia. There was one about his early life in Burma, I think.

Anyway... I'm with you both, and I feel privileged to be in your company!
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Old Nov 19th 2019, 8:21 am
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Default Re: Orwell And His Memory

"Burmese Days" is a novel based on Orwell's five years in provincial Burma. He served as a police officer. He was born in India where his father was an official in The Opium Office. Born in Motihari -

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motihari

And grew up speaking Hindustani.

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Old Nov 19th 2019, 10:07 am
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When I read 1984 (in 1984, if memory serves!) I recall being amazed at the concept of the TV screen being able to see the viewer. It didn't occur to me at the time that it would simply be a case of including a tiny lens as we have now on tablets and smartphones. I assumed the whole screen would through some advanced technology mirror the room and send the feed to BB.

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Old Nov 19th 2019, 3:25 pm
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Default Re: Orwell And His Memory

One thing about Orwell’s legacy in the United States, in my experience - Americans are fixated on Animal Farm and 1984. He may as well have published nothing else. Further, his legacy seems firmly cooped by the conservatives and libertarians - little recognition that he was a socialist.
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Old Nov 19th 2019, 3:55 pm
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Default Re: Orwell And His Memory

Originally Posted by robin1234 View Post
One thing about Orwell’s legacy in the United States, in my experience - Americans are fixated on Animal Farm and 1984. He may as well have published nothing else. Further, his legacy seems firmly cooped by the conservatives and libertarians - little recognition that he was a socialist.
Probably true. The only other of his books that I've read is Down & Out, and that is by far my favorite.
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Old Nov 20th 2019, 1:02 am
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Originally Posted by scot47 View Post
... And grew up speaking Hindustani.
I don't think he would have grown up speaking Hindi/Hindustani, since according to the Wiki entry he spent his childhood in England. Perhaps he studied it in his later life?
https://www.reddit.com/r/AskHistoria...george_orwell/
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Old Nov 20th 2019, 1:32 am
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Default Re: Orwell And His Memory

Originally Posted by robin1234 View Post
One thing about Orwell’s legacy in the United States, in my experience - Americans are fixated on Animal Farm and 1984. He may as well have published nothing else. Further, his legacy seems firmly cooped by the conservatives and libertarians - little recognition that he was a socialist.
Conservatives/libertarians are keen on him and the modern left less so because he satirised the rank hypocrisy and contradictions at the heart of a certain strain of socialism, one which is very much in vogue.
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Old Nov 20th 2019, 1:40 am
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Default Re: Orwell And His Memory

Gordon. The servants in his parents' house, including his ayah spoke Hindustani.. He amny have studied Hindi for the exams to get into the Police in Burma. It is attested (by whome) that he spoke French, Hindi and Burmese. Serving police officers in Colonial India (includinbg Burma) were required to learn local languages. Promotion was dependant on passing language exams.


I have had some discussions on this with other "expats". Interesting to consider how some modern "expats" resist the acquisition of local language(s)

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