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Tag Archives: Orwell

Conquered City – Victor Serge

Peter is the model and precursor of the Revolution. Remember this: “Constraint makes all things happen.” He founded industries, ministries, an army, a fleet, a capital, customs, by means of edicts and executions. He gave the order to cut off the beards, to dress European-style, to open this window on Europe in the Ingrian swamps. […]

Darkness at Noon – Arthur Koestler

At the end of my review of Water for Elephants I wrote that, perhaps, I might need to take a break from reading books that are studies of evil or the brutality of totalitarianism in the twentieth century. My reason was that they are unrelenting and depressing and there reaches a point at which yet […]

Orwell novels

George Orwell is one of my favorite authors. My ranking of his novels: 1984 Keep the Aspidistra Flying Coming Up For Air Burmese Days Animal Farm The Clergyman’s Daughter That is all, for now.

Orwell and Nature

In a fit of inability to do aught else, I have been thinking about Orwell and idly reading some of his essays. He is most known for his position in industrialized society, not least because of the dystopia he conjures in 1984 (particularly since Animal Farm is a poignant allegory rather than a true account […]

All Art is Propaganda

One of the most attractive concepts of the base-superstructure dichotomy in Marxism is that some things hold traction and permanence, while others are constructions (rather than everything being a construct). Of course, this is a simplified version of Marxism, of which I am by no means an expert, but I find the distinction revealing. Propaganda, […]

Some thoughts about Paris

Living in Botswana or being a Bonesman does not intrinsically grant anyone insight into the world, but both seem somehow more substantive than watching the world unfold on Twitter from a coffee shop in Columbia, MO. Then again, there is a case that the Lost Generation, watching the world unfold from a cafe in Paris […]

Adventures in Pedogogy: Politics and the English Language

On a whim, I assigned my students an extra reading assignment this past semester. In hindsight, the timing of this assignment was not ideal since we had a relatively large amount of reading spread across three distinct topics. But we had just one more meeting before their papers were due, so I felt incapable of […]