Had To Shoot An Elephant Today. Mood: (,_,)
August 9, 2008 9:32 PM   Subscribe

This is awesome... I added it to my google reader.
posted by Jahaza at 9:54 PM on August 9, 2008

Must get around to reading Down and Out in Paris and London some time.
posted by Artw at 10:04 PM on August 9, 2008 [1 favorite]

But what if Orwell blogged in today's UK?
August 9, 2008: Caught a large snake in the herbaceous border beside the drive. Observed by three CCTV cameras, one in the lane, another on the lamppost, a third on the tree in my garden. Truth exceeds fiction.

August 10, 2008: Apparently tree camera is monitored. Arrested under the Terrorism Act for use of camera to film tree CCTV.

August 12, 2008: Given ASBO, forbidden to carry camera in public.

August 20, 2008: Editor advises that including "Shooting an Elephant" in Collected Orwell not possible, as may offend minorities. Understands personally it's a critique of colonialism, but worries that public may not appreciate that subtlety and school libraries will be afraid to add it to holdings.

August 23, 2008: Turned away at JFK airport despite visa, so US book tour is off. Apparently "Eric Blair" is on some sort of list and "George Orwell" is a suspicious alias. Laptop retained by US Customs after manuscript of 1984 found, and found to be "anti-government subversion".
posted by orthogonality at 10:09 PM on August 9, 2008 [7 favorites]

Artw writes "Must get around to reading Down and Out in Paris and London some time."

It's pretty good, but exaggerated. A copy Orwell gave to a girlfriend was found a few years ago; it contains notes in his hand, explaining where he expanded on the truth.
posted by orthogonality at 10:12 PM on August 9, 2008

"Noooo, no, no, I never did it with those parisian hookers"
posted by Artw at 10:31 PM on August 9, 2008

Well, no, it's his privations and poverty that are exaggerated.
posted by orthogonality at 10:36 PM on August 9, 2008

You'll be telling me PKD never ate horsemeat next.
posted by Artw at 10:44 PM on August 9, 2008

Brilliant. I always thought that the Pepys' Diary project would lead to lots of posthumous weblog type sites, but this is the only one I've seen since. (I suppose the RSS feed of Da Vinci's notebooks counts too, but it's actually pretty dull!)

You can hear Orwell's son Richard Blair reading a few of the diary entries here.
posted by jack_mo at 3:52 AM on August 10, 2008

I've read Orwell's diary, as part of the Davison-edited Complete Works, and it is amazing stuff. I'd recommend it to anyone. But I don't know how suitable it is for the blog format - there are long interludes of months without an entry, and many of the entries are short. And it's a pity that they have skipped the Road to Wigan Pier research diary (1936), compiled during Orwell's tour of the North observing the condition of the working classes, which is a fascinating and grim document. 11.2.36: Staying at 72 Warrington Lane, Wigan. ... Food all right but indigestible and in monstrous quantities. Lancashire method of eating tripe (cold with vinegar) horrible.

Maybe they could include some of the book and theatre reviews he wrote in prodigious quantities before joining the BBC to fill some of the gaps.
posted by WPW at 4:51 AM on August 10, 2008

From the collection of essays, there is one on Mark Twain and he writes,

"Although Mark Twain produced a surprising variety of books, ranging from a namby-pamby ‘life’ of Joan of Arc to a pamphlet so obscene that it has never been publicly printed..."

Does anyone know what the "obscene pamphlet" refers to, and if it was ever published?
posted by btkuhn at 3:34 PM on August 10, 2008

Re: Twain-- I have a feeling he's talking about Twain's "Some Thoughts on the Science of Onanism".
posted by LucretiusJones at 10:06 PM on August 10, 2008

« Older Games are Art   |   Tilman Riemenschneider Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments