America’s leading review of the arts and intellectual life
Orwell's “Catalonia” revisited
On reexamining George Orwell's classic tale of the Spanish Civil War.
was right!Support The
Sainthood is a thing that human beings must avoid.
In any political argument of philosophical significance, everyone wants George Orwell as an ally. To be able to claim that he is so, however, you must first place him on an ideological map and then discover that, by happy coincidence, you occupy precisely the same position yourself. Hey presto, Orwell is on your side, and your opponents are thereby reduced to persons of ill-will or bad faith!
Why should Orwell be so desired and desirable, in short so unanswerable, an ally? He is a secular saint, over whose relics everyone squabbles. There are good reasons for this, no doubt. In his essay, Why I Write, published in 1946, Orwell disarmingly tells us that all writers are to some extent egotistical: they desire to seem clever, to be talked about and admired, and to be remembered after their death. Of all ...
This article is available to subscribers and for individual purchase
This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 25 February 2007, on page 11
Copyright © 2014 The New Criterion | www.newcriterion.comhttp://www.newcriterion.com/articles.cfm/Orwell-s--Catalonia--revisited-2599
E-mail to friend
On the pleasures and pains of judging the Hippocrates Prize in poetry.
Was JFK killed because America planned to assassinate Castro?
Introduction to The Kennedy Phenomenon
The Kennedy Phenomenon: "Watching the Kennedy Train-Wreck"
The Kennedy Phenomenon: "The Many Misjudgments of Richard Hofstadter"
Apr 23, 2014 01:07 PM