Essays (Everyman's Library classics) Hardcover – 27 Sep 2002
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"Orwell is the most influential political writer of the twentieth century...He gives us a gritty, personal example of how to engage as a writer in politics." -"New York Review of Books""[Orwell] evolved, in his seemingly offhand way, the clearest and most compelling English prose style this century...But of course he was more than just a great writer. We need him today because [of] his passion for the truth." -"The Sunday Times "(London) "Had Orwell lived to a full term, he might well have gone on to become the greatest modern literary critic in the language. But he lived more than long enough to make writing about politics a branch of the humanities, setting a standard of civilized response to the intractably complex texture of life." -"The New Yorker" "The real reason we read Orwell is because his own fault-line, his fundamental schism, his hybridity, left him exceptionally sensitive to the fissure-which is everywhere apparent-between what ought to be the casep
A volume, comprising around 250 pieces: the deifinitive collection of Orwell's essays. In a beautifully bound, hardback edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Orwell was one who had greatness thrust upon him. His great works and essays are stimulated by the convulsions of the rise of fascism and World War II - obviously "Animal Farm" and "1984" but also some magnificent essays. These include "The Lion And The Unicorn", his glorious, stirring analysis of the national character and the prospects of socialism after the war; his analysis of party-line thinking, in which he works out the metaphysics of "double-think"; his dissection of James Burnham's book on the "managerial revolution" with interesting comments on the world splitting into three power blocs; and "Reflections On The Spanish Civil War".
Other essays are more personal - his scathing memoir of his school days, "Such Were The Joys"; the delightful "Some Thoughts On The Common Toad"; "Hop Picking", one of his earliest attempts to document working-class customs; and "Shooting An Elephant", a wry look at imperialism. He also looks at literary matters (he was the literary editor of "Tribune" for some years) with equal clarity and lack of verbosity, unusual in literary analysis, with "Politics and the English Laguage" and "Why I Write". ("Sheer egotism" as he frankly admits!).
This is an exceptional book, to be read and savoured by all. A real delight.
When people think of Orwell, they remember him as an anti-Communist and a defender of liberal democracy.Read more ›
Be amazed, as Orwell opens your jaded eyes to the bizarre writing foibles of Charles Dickens - things about the esteemed author you thought you knew so well. Be stunned by Orwell's deeply moving personal experiences, in 'Shooting an Elephant' and 'A Hanging', accounts of human frailty that made me shudder with a deep sense of recognition. Have the myths of Public School life exploded for you in 'such, such were the joys' as Orwell escorts you through the darkly repressed world of his boyhood education.
There are so many treats and revelations in this book, that you are able to dive in at random and be suddenly immersed in that lost world of the pre and post war years. The politics may have changed, the fashions, the doctrines, may have all faded or become obselete, but what Orwell does - in breathtakingly frank and beautifully simple language - is to reveal to us how little humanity itself has altered. The vanity and hypocracy we find within, still have an all too fresh ring to them. But Orwell refuses to give up our species' and its eternal drive for understanding and self-improvement; positive attributes that Orwell instills into so much of his scathing honesty and subtle attack.
'Essays' can be enjoyed on so many levels: from a one-man history lesson, to a vivid collection of snapshot opinions that you can delight in, debate or decry. Or perhaps, like me, you will eventually give up on the socio-political analysis and the search for cryptic symbolism, and simply end up enjoying a quite wonderful book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I trust the Penguin for its authority, however, the papers of this book are very old, dark colored and flimsy. Read morePublished 4 days ago by sophie
Bought this for my daughter - it was recommended at University to help her improve the structure of her essays.Published 3 months ago by karen paget
George Orwell is one of my top five writers - especially for his essays.Published 6 months ago by Peter Leigh