Facing Unpleasant Facts (Anglais) Broché – 14 octobre 2009
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Description du produit
Revue de presse
Présentation de l'éditeur
George Orwell was first and foremost an essayist, producing throughout his life an extraordinary array of short nonfiction that reflected--and illuminated--the fraught times in which he lived. "As soon as he began to write something," comments George Packer in his foreword, "it was as natural for Orwell to propose, generalize, qualify, argue, judge--in short, to think--as it was for Yeats to versify or Dickens to invent."
Facing Unpleasant Facts charts Orwell's development as a master of the narrative-essay form and unites such classics as "Shooting an Elephant" with lesser-known journalism and passages from his wartime diary. Whether detailing the horrors of Orwell's boyhood in an English boarding school or bringing to life the sights, sounds, and smells of the Spanish Civil War, these essays weave together the personal and the political in an unmistakable style that is at once plainspoken and brilliantly complex.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com
Our civilization misses him. So much of journalism now is an exercise in wading thru badly disguised bias and blatant fallicies in logic and reasoning. Orwell also has his biases, but he is too honest to consider hiding them. I can find no fallicies in his reasoning, even when I disagree with him. On Socialism, for example, he gets the benefits, but misses the failings. On Capitalism it's the inverse. We can see that all more clearly now because of the passage of time, tho this review is written the week after Brexit, and clarity is in short supply. I do find myself wondering how much of Orwell was a true commitment to Socialism, and how much was simply a profound dislike for the British upper class.
One area where I particularly love him is on his analysis of the process of history. I have a history degree, and find most of the commonly used historical references painfully ignorant. No, Trump is not like Hitler; No, Putin is not like Stalin; No, history does not repeat itself. One I hate the most is "History is written by the victors". In fact there are whole libraries of histories written by the losers. Two of the earliest works in the western canon are Herodotus' Histories, and Thucydides' Peloponnesian War. Both men were commanders in the (losing) Athenian army. History is written by the Literate, and Mr. Orwell is most wonderfully literate.
Note that this is a two volume set, and if you get through this one, you will want to read the second. Doing so will be well worth your time.
His writing of a hanging which had taken place in a prison in colonial Burma in 1931 was not only descriptive but also explains the way the British ruled the colonials in their vast empire. The scenario was carried out in a matter of fact way in which Orwell describes the harsh realities of colonial life.
Another of Orwell’s essays titled Shooting an Elephant which takes place in Burma in 1936 shows Orwell himself confronted with a situation which Orwell himself admits to be a very unpleasant task. Acting as a constable in an isolated Burma town in which he was to protect and instill Colonial order, Orwell was faced with the task of shooting a wild elephant. The essay goes deep into Orwell’s mind and what it took to confront an unpleasant task. The task peels more of the inner self of Orwell and shows to one and all the man who makes up this writer.
The War-time Diary is the day by day descriptions of what it was to live in London during WWII. In many ways Orwell’s entries and thoughts of the war remind me of Victor Klemperer’s diary entries. You can follow Orwell’s thought process as he tries to make sense of what the war was all about. You can see his criticisms and see that many of his thoughts later turned to be incorrect or at least not well informed. His thoughts of the common people and their sacrifices are of importance in his diary entries.
All through Orwell’s work we find that his writings have one common element and that is to tell it like it is. No punches are pulled and you get to know the author’s likes, dislikes and his political persuasion. His explanation of his youthful school days at St. Cyprian are straightforward and very descriptive in explaining all the fears, trepidations and joys as in fact it serves as a platform of how one’s youth was spent in pre WWI England.
One would be hard pressed to find such an honest writer today. The only recent writer of such vintage would be Mike Royko.