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Homage to Catalonia by George Orwell
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Homage to Catalonia (1938)

by George Orwell

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4,822681,448 (4.07)248
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English (59)  Spanish (4)  Dutch (2)  French (2)  Catalan (1)  All languages (68)
Showing 1-5 of 59 (next | show all)
I first read George Orwell's account of his time in Spain many years ago, and now re-read in advance of a visit to Barcelona. I am actually writing this review from the hotel in which Orwell and his wife stayed during the terrible events of May 1937. There is no question that Orwell's book is a masterpiece and critical to our understanding not only of the events that took place in Barcelona at that time, but of the twentieth century as a whole. Because it is in this book that the George Orwell we now know, the author of 1984 and Animal Farm, is born. This is the George Orwell who came to Spain to fight for the Republic against the fascists and was actually happy to sign up with the Communists in that fight. By accident, he wound up in the militia of the POUM, a dissident Marxist group that has often been mislabelled as "Trotskyist" and whose leader, Andreu Nin, was tortured and murdered by Soviet secret police agents. Returned to Barcelona after being injured on the front, Orwell was an eyewitness to the successful attempt by the Soviet-directed Spanish Communists to bloodily suppress both the POUM and the much larger anarchist movement. What surprised me most in re-reading this book is not how unfairly anti-Communist this is (as some have claimed) but rather how little Orwell understood then of the monstrous behaviour of the Soviet Union in Spain. But of course he learned these things too, over time. Tonight I will go for a stroll down the Ramblas, and I will look at the theatre on whose roof-top Orwell sat for three nights, guarding the POUM headquarters across the street, and at the cafe below where the POUM fighters had entrapped some Civil Guard troops, sharing beers with them as those troops feared for their lives. But for now, I sit in a room in the Hotel Continental imagining what the author of Homage to Catalonia thought as he stayed here more than eighty years ago. ( )
  ericlee | Jun 13, 2019 |
Orwell's experience as both a journalist and fighter in the Spanish Civil War. Detailed in its description of the day to day drudgery of war and of the unusual citizen army the Catalonians created. An important read for those interested in the Spanish Civil War and the development of one of the 20th century's great writers. ( )
  berthirsch | Mar 17, 2019 |
Powerful book, read in 1969 after studying in Spain ( )
  DramMan | Mar 1, 2019 |
Orwell's classic account of fighting on the Republican side of the Spanish Civil War in the first half of 1937. Not only does one get an intense feel for what it was like fighting (even though Orwell saw comparatively little combat, being in a static sector), he gives a very interesting eyewitness account of the political wrangling among the various Loyalist factions; Orwell fought in a POUM militia, which ended up being one of the losers in the internal struggle. Very readable, and in fact, you'll get a clearer idea of what was going on in the civil war more than in many much longer books; "Spain in Our Hearts," for example, quotes extensively from the account. Very highly recommended. ( )
  EricCostello | Aug 21, 2018 |
I received this book as a gift at around the same time as I had started Hemingway's "The Fifth Column and Four Stories of the Spanish Civil War". I must say I was impressed by Orwell's (or should I say Blair's) writing style as it seemed very distant from 1984. I found it difficult to put Homage down despite being very busy with work and other pressing issues. Nevertheless, I intend to explore the rest of Orwell's work. It is a real shame that he died at such a young age. One can only wonder whether such genius had more to offer or otherwise simply ran out of steam. Regardless, I am rather grateful for being gifted such an important work. ( )
  madepercy | Nov 7, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 59 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (28 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
George Orwellprimary authorall editionscalculated
Edwards, BobIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Folch i Camarasa, RamonTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Johansson, IngemarTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Monicelli, GiorgioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nuis, AadTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Symons, JulianIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Trilling, LionelIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou be like unto him. Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit. Proverbs XXVI, 5-6
Dedication
First words
In the Lenin Barracks in Barcelona, the day before I joined the militia, I saw an Italian militiaman standing in front of the officers' table.
Quotations
...beware of my partisanship, my mistakes of fact and the distortion inveitably caused by my having seen only one corner of events.
In war, all soldiers are lousy, at least when it is warm enough.  
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This is the complete unabridged Homage to Catalonia only.  Please do not combine with abridged works or those which contain other essays, stories, etc.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0156421178, Paperback)

"I wonder what is the appropriate first action when you come from a country at war and set foot on peaceful soil. Mine was to rush to the tobacco-kiosk and buy as many cigars and cigarettes as I could stuff into my pockets." Most war correspondents observe wars and then tell stories about the battles, the soldiers and the civilians. George Orwell--novelist, journalist, sometime socialist--actually traded his press pass for a uniform and fought against Franco's Fascists in the Spanish Civil War during 1936 and 1937. He put his politics and his formidable conscience to the toughest tests during those days in the trenches in the Catalan section of Spain. Then, after nearly getting killed, he went back to England and wrote a gripping account of his experiences, as well as a complex analysis of the political machinations that led to the defeat of the socialist Republicans and the victory of the Fascists.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:11 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

George Orwell's account of his experience as a militiaman in the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s. The book describes the chaos at the Front, the futile young deaths for what became a confused cause, the antique weapons and the disappointment many British Socialists felt on arriving in Spain to help.… (more)

» see all 4 descriptions

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141183055, 0141393025

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