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A Collection of Essays by George Orwell

A Collection of Essays (original 1946; edition 1970)

by George Orwell

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1,12857,270 (4.25)23
Title:A Collection of Essays
Authors:George Orwell
Info:Mariner Books (1970), Paperback, 336 pages
Collections:eBook, Read
Tags:english literature, essays

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A Collection of Essays by George Orwell (1946)



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Selected essays. I thought the essays here on Dickens and Kipling were revelations. About ninety percent of the essays cited by other authors that I have read are included here. Also particularly liked "Inside the Whale," a paean to Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer. ( )
1 vote William345 | Jun 11, 2014 |
Flashes of brilliance couched next to some rather boring parts. Shooting an Elephant, Marrakech and Politics and the English Language is essential for anyone, anywhere. You can tell Orwell is a great guy, and I'd rather have a drink with him and Turgenev than Tolstoy and Marx, even though I find the two latter better. Though I'm not sure why it's supposed to be a testament to Orwell's talent that these essays ramain "compelling for sixty to seventy years after" when Montaigne and Bacon's essays have been read for more than 400 years. ( )
  hampusforev | Aug 18, 2012 |
It is a testament to Orwell's talent as a writer that these essays remain compelling sixty to seventy years after they were written. ( )
  markfinl | Oct 16, 2011 |
Required reading for life as far as I'm concerned. Particularly "Shooting an Elephant" and the classic "Politics and the English Language." ( )
  NocturnalBlue | Jul 19, 2010 |
I really like Orwell now. His writing is crisp and honest. He tells you his political views up front with a passion. I want to read more! ( )
  mrminjares | Mar 6, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0156186004, Paperback)

Imagine any of today's writers of "creative nonfiction" dispatching a rogue elephant before an audience of several thousand. Now, imagine the essay that would result. Can we say "narcissism"? As part of the Imperial Police in Burma, George Orwell actually found himself aiming the gun, and his record--first published in 1936--comprises eight of the highest voltage pages of English prose you'll ever read. In "Shooting an Elephant," Orwell illumines the shoddy recesses of his own character, illustrates the morally corrupting nature of imperialism, and indicts you, the reader, in the creature's death, a process so vividly reported it's likely to show up in your nightmares ever after. "The owner was furious, but he was only an Indian and could do nothing.... Among the Europeans opinion was divided. The older men said I was right, the younger men said it was a damn shame to shoot an elephant for killing a coolie, because an elephant was worth much more than any damn Coringhee coolie."

This essay alone would be worth the cover price, and the dozen other pieces collected here prove that, given the right thinker/writer, today's journalism actually can become tomorrow's literature. "The Art of Donald McGill," ostensibly an appreciation of the jokey, vaguely obscene illustrated postcards beloved of the working classes, uses the lens of popular culture to examine the battle lines and rules of engagement in the war of the sexes, circa 1941. "Politics and the English Language" is a prose working-out of Orwell's perceptions about the slippery relationship of word and thought that becomes a key premise of 1984. "Looking Back on the Spanish War" is as clear-eyed a veteran's memoir of the nature of war as you're likely to find, and Orwell's long ruminations on the wildly popular "good bad" writers Charles Dickens and Rudyard Kipling showcase his singular virtues--searing honesty and independent thinking. From English boarding schools to Gandhi's character to an early appreciation of Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer, these pieces give an idiosyncratic tour of the first half of the passing century in the company of an articulate and engaged guide. Don't let the idea that Orwell is an "important" writer put you off reading him. He's really too good, and too human, to miss. --Joyce Thompson

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:22 -0400)

In this bestselling compilation of essays, written in the clear-eyed, uncompromising language for which he is famous, Orwell discusses with vigor such diverse subjects as his boyhood schooling, the Spanish Civil War, Henry Miller, British imperialism, and the profession of writing.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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