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Keep the Aspidistra Flying
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Keep the Aspidistra Flying [Format Kindle]

George Orwell
5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (2 commentaires client)

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Descriptions du produit

London, 1936. Gordon Comstock has declared war on the money god; and Gordon is losing the war. Nearly 30 and "rather moth-eaten already," a poet whose one small book of verse has fallen "flatter than any pancake," Gordon has given up a "good" job and gone to work in a bookshop at half his former salary. Always broke, but too proud to accept charity, he rarely sees his few friends and cannot get the virginal Rosemary to bed because (or so he believes), "If you have no money ... women won't love you." On the windowsill of Gordon's shabby rooming-house room is a sickly but unkillable aspidistra--a plant he abhors as the banner of the sort of "mingy, lower-middle-class decency" he is fleeing in his downward flight. In Keep the Aspidistra Flying, George Orwell has created a darkly compassionate satire to which anyone who has ever been oppressed by the lack of brass, or by the need to make it, will all too easily relate. He etches the ugly insanity of what Gordon calls "the money-world" in unflinching detail, but the satire has a second edge, too, and Gordon himself is scarcely heroic. In the course of his misadventures, we become grindingly aware that his radical solution to the problem of the money-world is no solution at all--that in his desperate reaction against a monstrous system, he has become something of a monster himself. Orwell keeps both of his edges sharp to the very end--a "happy" ending that poses tough questions about just how happy it really is. That the book itself is not sour, but constantly fresh and frequently funny, is the result of Orwell's steady, unsentimental attention to the telling detail; his dry, quiet humor; his fascination with both the follies and the excellences of his characters; and his courageous refusal to embrace the comforts of any easy answer. --Daniel Hintzsche

From AudioFile

Orwell regarded this early autobiographical work as embarrassingly self-involved, but he didn't give himself enough credit. It nonetheless offers the pleasures of his keen observation and sardonic wit. Kitchen, too, performs a neat trick. He manages to keep Orwell's self-loathing hero, Gordon Comstack, just this side of sympathetic, not a small accomplishment for such an exasperating character. Gordon, a dreadful, deservedly unsuccessful poet, purposely keeps himself in penury while simultaneously blaming his poverty for his lack of recognition and romantic happiness. With his expert timing and delivery, Kitchen enables us to enjoy Gordon on two levels. We can be appalled by his acerbic and wrong-headed perceptions while also finding him an amusing commentator on English culture before WWII. M.O. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 441 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 292 pages
  • Pagination - ISBN de l'édition imprimée de référence : 0141183721
  • Editeur : Penguin; Édition : New Ed (26 octobre 2000)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B002RI9CTS
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (2 commentaires client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°242.809 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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En savoir plus sur l'auteur

George Orwell (de son vrai nom Eric Blair) est né aux Indes en 1903 et a fait ses études à Eton. Sa carrière est très variée et beaucoup de ses écrits sont un rappel de ses expériences. De 1922 à 1928 il sert dans la police indienne impériale. Pendant les deux années suivantes il vit à Paris puis part pour l'Angleterre comme professeur. En 1937 il va en Espagne combattre dans les rangs républicains et y est blessé. Pendant la guerre mondiale il travaille pour la B.B.C., puis est attaché, comme correspondant spécial en France et en Allemagne, à l'Observer. Il meurt à Londres en janvier 1950.

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5.0 étoiles sur 5 Précisions 4 novembre 2007
Par Ethan
Apparemment vous n'avez pas lu ce roman, car:
1 - Il ne s'agit pas d'une "pubeux" mais d'un poète.
2- L'action ne se passe pas dans les années 1950 mais en 1936.

Keep the Asidistra Flying demeure un roman cultissime, bien qu'encore méconnu. C'est une guerre ouverte au dieu-argent, mais il est aussi très drôle. Dans tous les cas, il procure un moment de grand plaisir.
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1 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 99F en littérature 15 décembre 2000
Par Un client
Ce très beau livre raconte les doutes métaphysiques d'un "pubeux" des années 50 et traite le sujet avec beaucoup de profondeur et de poésie. A découvrir et à comparer avantageusement au 99F actuel, qui est une pâle copie de ce roman.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.2 étoiles sur 5  81 commentaires
39 internautes sur 41 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 A Neglected Romance with a Satire on English Respectability 22 juin 2002
Par Tsuyoshi - Publié sur
It is a bit difficult task to place George Orwell (pen name for Eric Aruthur Blair) in the history of the 20th century English literature. A novelist? A journalist? A critic? Or just a guy who loved propaganda? Whatever it is, he is and will be remembered as the one who wrote "1984" and "Animal Farm." Still, before he wrote these famous works, he wrote a pretty good book of novel, and that is what you're looking at now.
"Keep the Aspidistra Flying" one of the most starange titles you ever see, is about a "poet" (and formerly a copywriter for advertizing company) Gordon Comstock, who, with sudden desire to be free from the curse of money, left this good job and starts the life of an aspiring artist. As he had previously a book of his own poems published (the title "Mice"), and received a review from The Times Literary Supplement, which said "exceptional promise," why not pursue his way as an artist? And his next project "London Pleasure" which must be the next Joyce or Eliot will be completed soon, probably next month, or next year perhaps....
As his misadventure starts, Rosemary, his long-suffering but always faithful sweetheart, naturally is dismayed, and it takes a long time for him to realize that his happiness, whatever it is, is possible with her presence. But aside from the romantic aspect of the novel, which in itself is well-written with good portrait of independent Rosemary, the book attracts us with the author's satire on the middle-classness of England, which is represented by those ugly, die-hard aspidistra decorating the windows of every house. Gordon's loathing of respetability is deftly turned into a dark comedy that attack the parochical mind of some people, sometimes including Gordon himself. For instance, Gordon, no matter how poor and disheveled he becomes, never lets his girlfriend Rosemary pay the check of lunch because, in a word, it is not proper. Those who are interested in Englishness might find something amusing in this book, I assure you.
As is his satire, Orwell's English style is always full of power, brisk and lively, and never lets you bored. The only demerit is, as time has changed since then 1936, some names are no longer familiar to us; once hugely popular novelists like Ethel M Dell is mentioned with derogatory comments from Gordon, and her bestselling novel "The Way of an Eagle" is clearly treated as trash in Orwell's mind, but in the 21st Century whoever read them? Hence, some part of the book is lost on us if you don't know these names like Dell or Hugh Walpole, but never mind. Such part consists only small part, and if you don't get it, just skip it.
At the time of publishing, "Keep the Aspidistra Flying" was never a commercial success, and in Orwell's lifeime it was never reprinted, but these facts should not discuorage you from reading it. It is wickedly funny book that makes you, if not smile, at least grin not a little.
The book was made a movie in 1997 as "The Merry War" starring Richard E Grant and Helena Bohnam Carter. The film, more inclined to romance side of the book, is also a good one. Try it.
18 internautes sur 18 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 conforming a non-comformist 6 janvier 2003
Par Randy Keehn - Publié sur
Having completed "Keep the Aspidistra Flying", I have now read all of the novels of George Orwell. I can say with such authority that this one may be his best. George Orwell was, first and foremost, a Socialist and this book is his examination of being a Socialist in a Capitalist world. His hero, Gordon Comstock, is mired in a dead-end job that is just middle-class enough to require proper dress and behavior but not enough to enable him to afford any but the most essential living expenses. We sympathize with him. Or at least we do until we realize that his disdain for the pursuit of money has pointed him in the opposite direction. He is so anti-capitalist that he purposely keeps himself in his lower state. He quit a previous job because it paid too much. He won't strive beyond his current status because then he would enter a higher social status. He is convinced of the righteousness of his beliefs even though he has bled his sister dry "borrowing" money from her over the years. She "lends" him the money because the family always had such high hopes for this erudite young man. Gordon complains, to those that listen, that money is the root of all evil yet he is so ready to be victimized by it. He complains to his girl-friend that she measures him by his net-worth. This isn't true but he can't see that the problem is that HE is measuring himself by his own net-worth. He talks the talk but can't walk the walk. Well, money leads to one disaster of his own making and ends up as the solution to another "disaster" of his own making. I'm sure the prospective reader would prefer to read the book to see how his story ends so I won't go into any more details here.
This novel is enjoyable on many levels. I found myself, like most, getting upset with Gordon Comstock for his self-destructive "nobility". I was ready to rant and rave about it until I remembered my post-college Bohemian days and realized that I went through such a stage myself. I'm sure many of us have and so I think there is a personal connection that will appeal to a lot of readers. For pure literary merit, this is a hard 20th Century satire to top. Orwell scared a lot of people with his futuristic novels "Animal Farm" and "1984". He tried to indoctrinate many a reader with his Socialistic essays including his half-novel/half-essay; "The Road to Wigan Pier". I have a feeling that he was poking fun at himself in "Keep the Aspidistras Flying". Maybe that's why it works so well.
16 internautes sur 17 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 We can't afford principles, people like us. 27 juillet 2005
Par Jonathan D. Mcfadden - Publié sur
To the reviewer who claimed this bit of "capitolism bashing" [sic] is not worth half the status of 1984:

Perhaps you're right that it is not as good as that book. I definitely don't see myself reading it more than three times as I have with that one. Unless one is intimately familiar with Orwell's ouvre on the whole-and not just Animal Farm and 1984-I could see how they could come to this conclusion.

However, if you have read any of Orwell's essays (his criticisms of concurrent literature, his defenses of and attacks on socialism, his biographical works), you will see that this book fits in nicely with the rest of his work. If it were just for those two aforementioned books, Orwell would still have a high place in the literary canon, but there is so much more to his style than his writings/warnings against fascism.

I would not recommend reading this one until one has also read Down and Out in Paris and London and Road to Wigan Pier. Once those two have been taken in, the simple beauty of Keep the Aspidistra Flying will be more apparent. In those two relatively lesser-known works, Orwell expounds on the philosophy that is more indicative of his place in literature than the Winston Smith paranoia. One of Orwell's chief concerns in writing, it seems to me, was in displaying how the effects of money can rule one's life more than any government. In Down and Out and Wigan, we see what abject poverty-when it isn't a choice-can do to the human spirit. In Aspidistra, we have a main character-Gordon Comstock-who seems to accept this as a given, and supposes that, when this kind of poverty is a choice, one can break free of the trappings of the capitalistic burden.

This is the thrust of the work. Comstock's supposition that he can be free of money woes leads him to obsess over it moreso than anyone else. The reader wants to reach inside the book and smack him upside the head, because this leads to a preoccupation with money that none of the people whom he despises could even remotely have. Orwell's point is that we are all trapped in this system, and we can't escape it. When we make futile attempts, it is still on the system's terms. An intense sense of anti-capitalism, however noble it might initially have been, can indeed estrange us from our family and friends and cause even more problems than had been there before. Comstock (however unintentionally) antagonizes everyone around him, and disrupts his relationships more with his money-bashing than the money itself ever could have.

Without giving away the plot, Gordon proves himself more of a capitalist (...) than he could have been just by buying into the system.

As for the work itself, it is one of Orwell's lighter books, and yet it owes quite alot to Dostoyevsky. Whether Orwell himself would have admitted it or not, this seems to me to be one of his greatest influences. Comstock's character is not unlike Raskolnikov's in Crime and Punishment, Dimitri's in The Brothers Karamazov, and the main character in Notes from Underground. In all three of these, as in Aspidistra, we have a character so obsessed with an abstract notion that he lets it rule his life and destroy the lives of others.

All in all, if one does not read this expecting the stereotypical Orwell of 1984 and Animal Farm, I think they will be pleasantly surprised. I liked and sympathized with the majority of the characters. And unlike Burmese Days, Animal Farm, and 1984, it ends with a little hope.

And as far as giving it five stars when it is not quite as good as those, the Amazon rating system puts four stars as "I like it" and five as "I love it".

The book isn't perfect, but I am very fond of it, so I don't think I'm lying when I give it five.
9 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 You can get anything in this world if you genuinely don't want it 23 avril 2008
Par H. Schneider - Publié sur
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
After recently reading the 4 volume set of the essays, plus Coming Up for Air, which I found in my shelf unread, I had thought that the Aspidistra would be the closing session on Orwell for me. I thought I had covered the field. Unfortunately and surprisingly, the aspidistra are so fresh and enjoyable, despite their sordid subject, that I find myself under compulsive pressure to order the books that I have not read yet (the Clergyman's Daughter, the Road to Wigan Pier, Down and Out in Paris and London).
As much as I like to look at plants, assuming they grow wild or they are cultivated by somebody else, I am no gardener nor botanist. I honestly did not know what an aspidistra is. I looked it up in the Langenscheid's Dictionary English - German. I learned that an aspidistra is an Aspidistra. Aha. Google Images teach me that the thing is a somewhat non-descript and somewhat unkempt pot plant. It seems to like growing in places that no self-respecting plant ought to survive. Orwell's novel has them as a symbol for undestructability under nasty circumstances.
For the novel's hero Gordon Comstock, they are the enemy. They are allied with the oppressors, the seedy boarding houses and lower middle class dwellings that he loathes so much. They symbolize the lack of money; money rules, specifically when you don't have any.
The twist of the 'plot' is that Gordon chose to be poorer than he needed to be, by throwing away 'good jobs' in the money making world. We have here a study in the pretensions of poverty.
The most brillant parts of this amazing novel have us watch confrontations, or should I say Pas-de-Deux, of different social strata. Gordon tries to hide and is ashamed of his poverty, while his friend Ravelston is trying to hide and is ashamed of his wealth. The rich man is the socialist, who tries and tries to convince the poor man of the merits of socialism. Gordon can't be bothered, he doesn't have enough money to be a socialist.
The novel is far exceeding my expectations and I may have to think again about my classification of Orwell as mainly an essayist.
9 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A feat of brilliance (once again) 14 janvier 1999
Par Un client - Publié sur
I started to read 'Keep the Aspidistra Flying' on christmas day, and found that I had nearly finished it by the end of boxing day. I couldn't put it down! The book takes you through one man's (Gordon Comstock) struggle against the 'Money God' - with whom he began waging war early in his life. You travel with Gordon on his poverty stricken journey of self discovery and, indeed, on his road to maturity. His neglect for the people who care about him (his faitful sister Julia, and devoted partner Rosemary), and neglect for himself do make you angry at times, but this is Orwell's brilliance - the ability to make you feel passionately about things. This book, for me, was an absolutely brilliant read, especially when Orwell takes Rosemary and Gordon out into the country, to Slough - which is only 10 minutes away from my own home village! This book is a 'must' - go and read it!
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No rich man ever succeeds in disguising himself as a poor man; for money, like murder, will out. &quote;
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They had accepted the money-code, and by that code they were failures. &quote;
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There are two ways to live, he decided. You can be rich, or you can deliberately refuse to be rich. You can possess money, or you can despise money; the one fatal thing is to worship money and fail to get it. &quote;
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