NauenThen

Monday Quote

February 12, 2018

Tags: George Orwell, Muriel Rukeyser

In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.
—George Orwell

Is this true?
Is it something that sounds true but is questionable?
Is it possible to tell the truth?
Do we always know the truth when we break our teeth on it?
Is it ever a time of universal deceit?
Is it always a time of universal deceit? (more…)

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…)