George Orwell (born Eric Blair on June 25th 1903) is probably one of my favourite twentieth century writers, not just for Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty Four, but also his political writing, essays, and lesser known novels (Coming up for Air and Keep the Aspidistra Flying are particularly good I think).
In honour of what would have been his 114th birthday, here are some of my favourite Orwell quotes:
On suburban life…
After all, what is a road like Ellesmere Road? Just a prison with the cells all in a row. A line of semi-detached torture chambers… in every one of those little stucco boxes there’s some poor bastard who’s never free except when he’s asleep and dreaming that he’s got the boss down the bottom of a well and is bunging lumps of coal at him.
Coming up for Air 1939 Continue reading
Midsummer, approaching midnight and the last light lingering over the sweating earth. The smell of rain, of still-damp leaves, hangs in the air. The stars are not yet out, but tiny wisps of white cloud fleck the blue. Quiet. Only the soft murmur of a plane, far off, unbroken. Somewhere an owl screeches. The cat and I sit beside the open door, and watch the darkness gathering, while moths cast trembling shadows before the solitary light.
Realising, with relief, it’s almost over. Continue reading
Here’s my contribution to Helen’s Song Lyric Sunday challenge for this week. The theme this week was a song about dancing, so I’m thinking that this qualifies on the grounds of lines like ‘hazy cosmic jive’ and ‘let all the children boogie’. Continue reading
Sometimes you can watch the TV news unfold its daily horrors and let it just wash over you; at other times the sheer awfulness leaves you breathless, heartsick, overwhelmed. Today is one of those other days. It’s been difficult to concentrate at work today, flicking back to the news websites every so often with a pounding heart. If this is how I’m feeling, a comfortable 200 miles away from Grenfell Tower, I can’t even begin to imagine what it must be like for those personally affected. Continue reading
Polls convinced them they would win.
Every now and then I stumble across bits of Shakespeare which make me catch my breath with their brilliance. Here’s Mark Antony, lamenting Caesar’s murder and predicting bloody civil war and turmoil:
O, pardon me, thou bleeding piece of earth,
That I am meek and gentle with these butchers!
Thou art the ruins of the noblest man Continue reading