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I come to bury him, not praise him
on 6 February 2016
I have reservations concerning this perspective. Well-researched, thoughtful and insightful, yet uncomfortable. Orwell has always remained one of my literary influences, a man to turn to for sense, stripped back prose and rebellion. Colls places these qualifications under the microscope and attempts to reduce the man to a confused, ill at ease searcher of Englishness and his place within it. Inevitably, for such a perspective, Orwell's politics are revealed as shallow, reversible and not what he is perceived to be. He is almost accused of being a Tory.
It is fascinating, hence my 4 stars. However, I cannot but feel that there was an agenda in its writing, and I cannot quite forgive the author for his conclusions. Orwell, despite his curtailed life, packed much into it. He was entitled to comment on those around him. The fact that he could never belong or really feel what it is/was to be working class should not be levelled against. Neither should his anti-intellectualism or anti-totalitarianism. Maybe they were obsessions, but with regard to the latter, who is not?