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In this bitingly honest autobiographical essay, Orwell recounts his days as a pupil at St Cyprian's preparatory school in Eastbourne, Sussex. He reflects on a 'world of force and fraud and secrecy,' where the actual 'pattern of school life' was played out as a continuous triumph of the strong over the weak. Reflecting on the hypocrisy of Edwardian society, Orwell condemns the education he received as 'a preparation for a sort of confidence trick,' designed mercinarily to prepare pupils for exams without concern for real knowledge or understanding. This is Orwell as political dissident and supreme chronicler of class conflict.
Art and politics are often regarded as denizens of different realms, but few artists have been comfortable with the notion of a purely aesthetic definition of art. The artist has a public and thus political vision of the world interpreted by his art no less than the statesman and the legislator have a creative vision of the world they wish to make. The sixteen original essays in this volume bear eloquent witness to this interpenetration of art and politics. Each confronts the intersection of the aesthetic and the social, each is concerned with the interface of poetic vision and political vision, of reflection and action. They take art in the broadest sense, ranging over poets, dramatists, novelists, essayists, and filmmakers. Their focus is on art and its political dilemmas, not simply on the artist. They consider the issues raised for politics and culture by alienation, violence, modernization, technology, democracy, progress, and revolution. And they debate the capacity of art to stimulate social change and incite revolution, the temptations of social control of culture and of political censorship, the uncertain relationship between art and history, the impact of economic structure on artistic creation and of economic class on artistic product, the common ground between art and legislation and between crea-tivitv and control.
This book meditates on the nature of biography and the way biographers habitually explain their subjects' loves by reference to psychology, ancestry, childhood experience, social relations, the body, or illness.
This collection of fifty essays spans the 1930s and 1940s and covers the broad range of Orwell's interests: political, social and literary. As well as extracts from well-known books such as 'Down and out in Paris and London' and 'The Road to Wigan Pier', this volume includes classic articles such as 'Killing an Elephant' and 'Good Bad Books, ' as well as lesser known pieces. Whether or not readers are familiar with his work or sympathatic to his views, they are sure to be seduced by Orwell's logical mind and lucid prose in this handsome new edition of his wide-ranging and stimulating essays. Contents: The Spike; A Hanging (1931); Bookshop Memories (1936); Shooting an Elephant (1936); Down the Mine (1937) (from "The Road to Wigan Pier"); North and South (from "The Road to Wigan Pier") (1937); Spilling the Spanish Beans (1937); Marrakech (1939); Boys' Weeklies and Frank Richards's Reply (1940); Charles Dickens (1940); Charles Reade (1940); Inside The Whale (1940); The Art of Donald Mcgill (1941); The Lion and the Unicorn: Socialism and the English Genius (1941); Wells, Hitler And The World State (1941); Looking Back On The Spanish War (1942); Rudyard Kipling (1942); Mark Twain - the Licensed Jester (1943); Poetry and the Microphone (1943); W. B. Yeats (1943); Arthur Koestler (1944); Benefit of Clergy: Some Notes on Salvador Dali (1944); Raffles and Miss Blandish (1944); Antisemitism in Britain (1945); Freedom of the Park (1945); Future of a Ruined Germany (1945); Good Bad Books; In Defence of P. G. Wodehouse (1945); Nonsense Poetry; Notes on Nationalism (1945); Revenge is Sour (1945); The Sporting Spirit; You and the Atomic Bomb (1945); A Good Word for the Vicar of Bray; A Nice Cup of Tea (1946); Books vs. Cigarettes; Confessions of a Book Reviewer; Decline of the English Murder; How the Poor Die; James Burnham and the Managerial Revolution; Pleasure Spots; Politics and the English Language; Politics vs. Literature: an Examination of Gulliver's Travels; Riding Down from Bangor; Some Thoughts on the Common Toad; The Prevention of Literature; Why I Write (1946); Lear, Tolstoy and the Fool; Such, Such Were the Joys (1947); Writers and Leviathan (1948); Reflections on Gandhi.
Essays by the author of 1984 on topics from “remembrances of working in a bookshop [to] recollections of fighting in the Spanish Civil War” (Publishers Weekly). George Orwell was first and foremost an essayist, producing throughout his life an extraordinary array of short nonfiction that reflected—and illuminated—the fraught times in which he lived. “As soon as he began to write something,” comments George Packer in his foreword, “it was as natural for Orwell to propose, generalize, qualify, argue, judge—in short, to think—as it was for Yeats to versify or Dickens to invent.” Facing Unpleasant Facts charts Orwell’s development as a master of the narrative-essay form and unites such classics as “Shooting an Elephant” with lesser-known journalism and passages from his wartime diary. Whether detailing the horrors of Orwell’s boyhood in an English boarding school or bringing to life the sights, sounds, and smells of the Spanish Civil War, these essays weave together the personal and the political in an unmistakable style that is at once plainspoken and brilliantly complex. “Best known for his late-career classics Animal Farm and 1984, George Orwell—who used his given name, Eric Blair, in the earliest pieces of this collection aimed at the aficionado as well as the general reader—was above all a polemicist of the first rank. Organized chronologically, from 1931 through the late 1940s, these in-your-face writings showcase the power of this literary form.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

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