Remembering George Orwell
1903, June 25. - 1950, January 21.



George Orwell
by Laurence Brander

 
Published by Longmans, Green and Co.
London - New York - Toronto

First published 1954

 
Laurence Brander
"An extremely shrewd and timely article", said Mr John Lehmann about the chapter of this book on prose in relation to politics which appeared in The London Magazine.
Mr Brander presents George Orwell as pre-eminently a man of our time, fiercely dedicated to the fight against totalitarianism while refusing to observe those nice distinctions between one form of tyranny and another which so many intellectuals are prone to make according to their political allegiances.
In Wigan Pier Orwell attacked the Socialists as much in anger as in sorrow, and he went even further in 1984, being extremely apprehensive about the possibilities of power-propaganda through the machinery available to the man of the twentieth century.
Orwell's assaults on Communism are famous, but the force of his vigorous arguments can be appreciated to the full only if the various essays are considered along with the better known works.
Mr Brander points out that Orwell wrote about literature as he wrote about other topics: as a patient observer looking on from a neutral and critical standpoint. His panache lay in being always a political man writing in a political age, and in the controlled economy of words used to achieve tremendous impact when shot from a prodigiously well-stored memory. This, too, was a memory packed not only with the absorbed treasures of literature, but also the fruits of wide and active experience in the world of men.
Mr Brander's consideration of Orwell's views and writings covers his subject's attitude to most facets of human activity. This book is the result of deep study, deep thought and personal association, and constitutes a most important contribution to an understanding of Orwell and, through him, to one clear conception (clear , whether right or wrong) of the complex, tortured era we live in.
Mr Brander has travelled widely and has devoted his own life to letters. During twelve years in India before the war he lectured on English literature and wrote books that were published there. He was in Britain when war broke out and worked for the B.B.C. He and George Orwell were collaborators in the production of literary broadcasts to India during this period. Mr Brander is now Director of Publications for the British Council.




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