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LITERATURE - George Orwell with English subtitles  

george orwell was an English

intellectual who died in nineteen fifty

and used literature for the only reason

it ultimately really exists to try to

change the world for the better he was

in the deeper sense a political writer

someone who wanted art to help us grow

kind fairer wiser in 1946 a year after

the publication of his momenta sleep

opulent fable animal farm he wrote an

essay titled why right which laid out

his approach with a characteristic

clarity what I wanted to do throughout

the past ten years is to make political

writing into an art my starting point is

always a feeling of partisanship a sense

of injustice when I sit down to write a

book I don't say to myself I'm going to

produce a work of art I write it because

there is some lie i want to expose some

facts to which I want to draw attention

and my initial concern is to get hearing

to understand why all well matters we

therefore have to understand what this

most political of writers loved and what

he hated what he was in rebellion

against and what he championed this is

what will give us the keys to

understanding his remarkable work and

painful yet deeply fulfilled life

Georgia will always hated the social

group of which he was despite everything

an example remember intellectuals from

an early age he wanted to be a writer

but george orwell excelled at never

quite belonging

he was born in 1903 in india which was

then part of the British Empire to

economically fragile civil servant

parents who fought for him to have a

classic upper-middle-class English

upbringing and then hoped he might

become a doctor or a lawyer they sent

him to what turned out to be a crippling

mean-spirited English prep school at the

age of 8 from where he won a scholarship

to eaten but he turned against the

values and spirit of the English public

school system he never went to

university and after stint as an

imperial policeman in Burma he settled

into the life of the odd dropping

literary intellectuals

working in a hamster bookshop reviewing

other people's books and eventually

writing some of his own

nevertheless Orwell's disdain of

intellectuals was a constant he accused

them of a range of sins a lack of

patriotism resentment of money and

physical vigor concealed sexual

frustration pretension and dishonesty he

knew it all from the inside but always

greatness emerged from the Rida

termination with which you recognized

and came to triumph against such

tendencies in himself the really

important fact about the English

inteligencia he once wrote is their

severance from the common culture of the

country in left-wing circles it's always

felt there's something slightly

disgraceful in being an Englishman and

that it's a duty to snicker at every

English institution from horse racing to

suet puddings oils generation of

intellectuals which had witnessed the

First World War and the Great Depression

was obsessed with very abstract large

schemes to redeem humankind

some were fanatical communists other

storage defenders of radical capitalism

a few admire the new authoritarian

regimes of italy spain and germany and

wanted something similar to take hold in

the Anglophone sphere or well listened

and was for a time a little seduced but

he came gradually champion something far

more radical the tastes opinions needs

an outlook of someone he called the

ordinary person a knowledge of ordinary

life came rather late to all well as a

typical product of an English public

school he was little exposed anyone

below his own social class a tendency

compounded by a naturally aloof bookish

and different manner a friend described

him a 25 as remarkably muff eaten for

one his age but all will set out to make

up for his lack of knowledge and

gradually came to be the great defender

of what he repeatedly called ordinary

life the life of people not especially

blessed with material goods people who

work in ordinary jobs who don't have

much of an education who won't achieve

greatness and yet nevertheless love care

for others work have fun raise children

and have large thoughts about the

deepest questions in ways that all well

thought especially admirable Orwell's

journey into ordinary life began in the

spring of nineteen twenty-eight when he

left the privileges of his class behind

and went to work in a series of menial

service jobs in the French and English

capitals experiences he was to recount

in his book down and out in paris and

london published in 1933 the book is

filled with affection of portraits of

life behind stairs in hotels and

restaurants and revels in a camera

battery humor and warmth of an

assortment of cleaners what shoppers

waiters chefs and the occasional

prostitute and Tramp it was a side of

life or well was further to investigate

in a book chronicling his journeys

around the industrial coal mining

country of northern England in 1937

booktitle the road to weaken Pierre

again without sentimentality or reverse

snobbery or well cast the generous

complex I over the people he met and

concluded that the average pub in a coal

mining village contain more intelligence

and wisdom than the british cabinet or

the high table of an Oxbridge college or

well especially like the lack of

prudishness and hypocrisy among the

ordinary people he met one thing one

notices he writes if one looks directly

at the common people especially in the

big town's is that they are not

puritanical they are in veteran gamblers

drink as much beer as their wages will

permit a devoted to boardy jokes and use

probably the Fowlis language in the

world then as now there was plenty of

information in the news about ordinary

people but all well understood that this

news tended to turn people into

abstractions and he saw it as the role

of his craft literary journalism to

flesh out the human beings behind the

statistics and so correct the prejudice

and casual racism that circulated all

around in an essay written on a trip to

Marrakech or well-read sarcastically the

typically neo-colonial attitude of

travelers towards the local inhabitants

the people here have brown faces there

are so many of them are they really the

same flesh as yourself so they even have

names or they merely a kind of

undifferentiated brown stuff about as

individual as bees or call

all insects all people who work with

their hands apart be invisible and the

more important the work they do for less

visible they are Orwell's love of the

ordinary inspires curiosity about a

range of themes not often considered in

literature he thought about and wrote in

praise of comics and country walks

dancing and flowers he wrote bravely in

defense of English cooking kippers

Yorkshire pudding Devonshire cream

muffins and crumpets he wrote and then

asked where else other than English

cooking do you see potatoes roasted

under the joint which is far and away

the best way of cooking them orwell

wrote end early in defense of Charles

Dickens at a time when this great writer

was considered low brow and too popular

to win the esteemed intellectuals in a

great i save 1946 politics in the

English language or well stood up

against the pros typical of

intellectuals hi blown and full of long

fancy words and defended a simple almost

naive way of writing he outlined a list

of rules for how to write well which

included a complete ban on fancy words

like phenomenon categorical utilize

inexorable and veritable Orwell revealed

hatred of foreign words like status quo

and deus ex machina and concluded there

is really no need for any of the

hundreds of foreign phrases now current

in English George Orwell is today

extremely famous for two books which

played a very small part in his life if

measured simply in terms of years he

wrote animal farm in 1945 when he was 42

and he published 1984 in 1949 when he

was 45 but he was dead by january

nineteen fifty at the age of only 46 in

other words he had just four short years

being the all well we know today

nevertheless these two books are

anchored in deep thinking that all will

have done all his adult life about how

literature should be written in an age

of movies and mass communication in

short he knew that the task of the

writer was to ensure that the most

serious ideas should achieve man

its popularity a double act which

required particular skill and

intelligence Animal Farm is a political

trapped about how revolutions fall prey

to counter revolutions and turn their

backs on their original ideals it fairly

maps out the progress of the French

Revolution the European revolutions of

1848 and the Russian Revolution of 1917

but described like this no one outside

of a few academics would ever bother to

read it always genius was to hit upon a

form the fable which would carry his

story to a mass audience and could be

understood as he put it by more or less

anyone so all well did what

esop Walt Disney level 10 and Beatrix

Potter among many others have done which

is to tell a story about humans fire

animals in the process or well revealed

the sins of revolutionaries are not

limited to people involved in actual

revolutions indeed that it's a permanent

human possibility to believe one is

guided by high ideals and then go on to

betray them all every time a revolution

now goes wrong people bring up animal

farm and declare it to be ahead of its

time so prescient this is the genius of

Orwell's fable by cutting out all

contemporary human references or well

found a way to tell us about ourselves

for all time even for the future

having successfully reinvented the fable

or well in an astonishing burst of

creativity then reinvented the science

fiction novel as a boy he loved the

novels of hg wells especially the time

machine and the war of the worlds like

Wells Orwell seized upon trends in his

own time and try to imagine how they

might develop over the long term his

science fiction novel is set an airstrip

one a place once known as great britain

but now a province of the super-state of

Oceania and locked in perpetual

ideological conflict with two other

blocks eurasia and East Asia like all

great dystopian novels Orwell's book was

an attempt to warn his own society about

its own alarming trends for example he

could see that what can terrorize the

country is not so much outright torture

or clumsy covert restrictions on free

speech but a loving of the citizenry

through sophisticated entertainment and

empty-headed news reports all wrapped up

in a constant reference to freedom

so in 1984 society is full of intriguing

new machines omnipresent screens which

both addicted and at the same time watch

over their citizens Julia the leading

female figure in the novel works in a

department of government known as mini

true which systematically distorts

access to information in highly subtle

ways to blind the citizenry to their

enslavement Julia operates a machine

that turns out porn novels alongside

films using with sex

rubbishing newspapers containing almost

nothing but sport crime and astrology

the people however don't feel there are

enslaved as all well so well understood

the really clever and scary regimes of

the modern world aren't the obviously

dictatorial ones they are the apparently

Democratic ones that give their citizens

the distinct feeling that they are free

while in fact blinding them with

constant sexual titillation and

sentimental distractions Georgia will

have the wisdom to make himself

remarkably future-proof

he was weary of economic and political

abstractions he start close to the truth

of ordinary life the realities of sex

food money love and pleasure and he

wrote with total clarity about enduring

eternal themes in human nature

he is perhaps the most successful

serious english-language writer of the

20th century and gives us the tools to

continue to imagine what writing should

be in our own time

ultimately all wells message is the same

as the plea that he discerned in all of

Charles Dickens's books in the essay he

wrote on him

namely that human beings should behave


this is he pointed out is either a

terrific cliche or just about the most

important instruction in the whole of

life it was always genius to remind us

that it is of course very much

the latter

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