Review: George Orwell’s “Selected Essays”
After an embarrassingly long time, I finally finished this one; it deserved more sustained and sharpened attention than it received. These essays, published in the 30s and 40s, are a sophisticated and excellently written analysis of mass literature for boys, the falling standards of English writing (were GO to read us now!), killing elephants, and freedom of expression for writers, etc, all submitted to a careful thinking-left examination. Although each text was quite dense, I enjoyed the writing and the thorough subtlety of Orwell’s thoughts, and it was interesting to read nonfiction that evidently fed into his famous fiction (1984, Animal Farm). Recommended.
Where it came from: MM’s Bookshelf
Time and manner of reading: Ooh, months of handbag reads, until I took it in hand this week and gave it a serious reading to
Where it went: Home
Reminds me of/that: How far the intellectual left has dropped out of mainstream public discourse – and how refreshing an Orwell-like analysis would be today
Who I’d recommend it to: Those with a historic political/literary sensibility
Also reading: Rabbit #4; How to Read a Poem by Edward Hirsch;The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon; Kalila and Dimna by Ramsey Woods; Being Alive edited by Neil Astley