George Orwell wrote my favourite writing essay, Politics and the English Language. Whenever I read him I’m reminded that the rules he set out are entirely achievable – if you’re George Orwell, of course.
I’ve read Orwell for Bookstravaganza before, and Matthew’s encounter with 1984 made this book really the only choice for today. It’s Orwell’s account of his experiences during the Spanish Civil War. If you don’t want to read the book – but really, read the book – there’s an extraordinarily detailed wikipedia page. Now I’ve read all of Orwell’s nonfiction, and I can say this with relative certainty – dude saw some bleak stuff. The war crystallized Orwell’s thoughts on socialism and fascism, and I actually think it should be required reading in tandem with 1984. As far as wartime journalism goes, I think this is as good as it gets. John Steinbeck wrote some interesting stuff about war in his later career, but it’s very different. And now that I’ve begun to talk about Steinbeck, I won’t stop. So I’ll stop here.
Books read: 16