A Seer's Blind Spots
On George Orwell's 100th, a Look at a Flawed and Fascinating Writer
"In a peaceful age I might have written ornate or merely descriptive books, and might have remained almost unaware of my political loyalties," he once wrote. "As it is I have been forced into becoming a sort of pamphleteer." And, indeed, it was the age that helped forge Orwell. He wrote his most compelling work during a 10-year span between 1938 and 1949 -- one of humankind's most perilous decades, when the world experienced Hitler and Stalin and a cataclysm of warfare and slaughter. Orwell's writings vividly help explain who these men were, what their hold was on other men and how much they had in common.
Circus dogs jump when the trainer cracks his whip, but the really well-trained dog is the one that turns his somersault when there is no whip.
-- George Orwell, born 100 years ago today
posted by Cyndy