NauenThen

As he pleased

July 27, 2014

Tags: George Orwell, Vera Brittain

In an argument with Vera Brittain (whose Testament of Youth is the best account of WWI by a woman who was in it), Orwell writes:

"Why is it worse to kill civilians than soldiers? Obviously one must not kill children if it is in any way avoidable, but it is only in propaganda pamphlets that every bomb drops on a school or an orphanage. A bomb kills a cross-section of the population; but not quite a representative selection, because (more…)

Kipling & Orwell

June 3, 2014

Tags: Rudyard Kipling, George Orwell

I have second-generation Englishness, the way that so many Irish-Americans have Irish longing. Hence (in part) my love for Kipling, & Orwell's distaste for him. He's not a fascist, Orwell says, but he did not understand the economics underlying empire, thus didn't get why, after the "greatest victory she had ever known, Britain was a lesser world power than before."

There's an aside, in this 1942 essay, criticizing "left-wing parties in the highly industrialized countries," which are, he says, "at bottom a sham" because they have "internationalist aims, and at the same time they struggle to keep a standard of life with which those aims are incompatible. We all live by robbing Asiatic (more…)