Orwell, 1936

Orwell on modern life:


Obviously, modern mechanized life becomes dreary if you let it. The awful thraldom of money is upon everyone and there are only three immediately obvious escapes. Ones is religion, another is unending work, the third is the kind of sluttish antinomianism – lying in bed til four in the afternoon, drinking Pernod -…it is possible to be a normal decent person and yet to be fully alive.


– From review of Orwell short story “The Rockpool,” by Cyril Connolly, New English Weekly. 23 July 1936.


   Sound familiar? But do we today have Orwell’s 1930s ending note of optimism?




Orwell on incarceration:

(one might substitute “jail” here for solitude and loneliness in general):


Actually, the cold, rigid discipline of a modern English jail, the solitude, the silence, the everlasting lock-and-key, is more cruel and far more demoralising than the barbarous punishments of the Middle Ages. Worse than the loss of liberty, worse even than sexual deprivation, is boredom.


– From review of “Walls Have Mouths”, by W.F.R. Macartney, with Prologue, Epilogue, and Comments on the Chapters by   Compton Mackenzie. The Adelphi November 1936.



                           – d.g.w.





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