Wednesday, May 12, 2010

George Orwell

George Orwell, whose birth name was Eric Blair, is one of my favorite writers and now considered one of the most important writers of the last century.

Orwell began his adult life as a colonial police officer in Burma and became and became a world-renowned author only shortly before his death from tuberculosis.

The novels Animal Farm and 1984 are his best known works. Both attack totalitarianism of both the communist and fascist variety. Orwell fought for freedom against Gen. Francisco Franco in the Spanish Civil War. When he returned to Britain after being wounded, he told the truth about the war - many on both the left and right did not want to hear that truth.

Don't miss his book "Homage to Catalonia", about the Spanish Civil War, or his essays. Two great essays to start with are "A Hanging", a perfect example of man's inhumanity to man, and "Shooting and Elephant."

The chief character of Orwell's work is honesty and a sense of morality. Albert Camus and Orwell have much in common in their stand against authoritarianism and sense of ethics.

More on Orwell and the Spanish Civil War.

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