Preskoči na glavni sadržaj

In Front of Your Nose: 1945-1950 (The Collected Essays, Journalism & Letters, Vol. 4) , George Orwell

Another of my 'old goodreads' reviews:

Having a fever gave me the perfect excuse to spend entire yesterday's afternoon reading this book. I'm happy that I had the opportunity to finish it. This is the fourth volume of The Collected Essays, Journalism and Letters of George Orwell(1945-1950) and it must be the final one because he did die in 1950.

How frustrating that my laptop turned down last night just as I was finishing the review for this!

What I like about Orwell is that he is what I call an active intellectual (and even though I'm pretty sure that such an expression doesn't exist, in my mind it means somebody who thinks with his own head.) 

It is not that I always agree with him. I've gained an impression that he is obsessed with the catholic church to the point it actually affects his reasoning. (Is it me or does he have a touch of catholic phobia? I'm not talking about his negative reviews on catholic writers or that "one cannot be a catholic and a grown- up" statement. After all everyone should be able to have an option about any religion without being considered an offender. One should be able to say I think this religion is silly and that is that. However, Orwell's constant mentioning of the catholic church in every possible political context and attributing it with political power that is doesn't (and cannot) have seem to be out of place. One would conclude that the catholic church rules the world. That just doesn't seem to make any sense. All religion have an amount of political power but I don't think that it can be said for any religion that it holds all political power. )

Nevertheless, I do think he is the best essayist of his age. In particular, I don't know anyone who has written so sensibly on political matters and put things so clearly.

About 600 pages (my edition) provides us with some of his best writing and about a three hundred (my estimation I haven't actually counted them) letters show much of his personal life. It is touching how he managed to think and work till the very end. 

Now, perhaps an average reader will not want to read all of it. So, here is my list of essays that I (for whatever reason) think you shouldn't miss:

V.I. E (very important essays):

" Revenge is Sour"
" What is Science"
" Good bad books"
" Freedom of the Park"
" The Sporting Spirit"
" The Prevention of Literature"
"Review of We by E.I. Zamyatin"
" Pleasure Spots"
"Politics vs Literature: An examination of Gulliver's Travels"
" How the Poor Die"
"Burnham's View of the Contemporary World Struggle"
"Review of the The Soul of Man under Socialism"
" Review of Potrait of an Antisemite by Jean-Paul Sartre"
"Lear, Tolstoy and the Fool"
" Reflections of Gangi"
" Conrad's Place and Rank in English Letters"
" The Question of the Pound Award"
" Such, Such were the Joys"

Popularni postovi s ovog bloga

The Lagoon, a short story by Joseph Conrad (book review and recommendation)

Published in 1987, this story is one of the shortest works by Joseph Conrad. Like many of Conrad's other works, The Lagoon is a framed narrative. Before I continue this review, and explain what the book is about, there is something I need to comment on. Most publishers and sites I've come across describe Lagoon as a story about a white man called Tuan, but I personally can't agree with that description. 
This short story doesopen up with a white man, but the story is really, for most part, about the man's Malaysian friend Arsat. Perhaps the most accurate thing to say is that the story is about both of them.  Another thing worth noting is that we never do learn the name of the white man. Tuan is just a word that means 'sir' in the native language of the inhabitans. When other characters address the narrator as Tuan, they are calling him 'mister' or 'sir'.

The opening lines of The Lagoon are quite descriptive, not only setting the tone but introduc…

All the King's Men,a novel by Robert Penn Warren ( Book Review and Recommendation)

All the King’s Men opens sharply, throwing the reader into the midst of things. Jack Burden, a young ex-reporter/ writer, a guy who walked out on his PhD, finds himself in the service of Willie, a raising political force. Willie, whose background doesn’t promise a successful politician, but who is ready to fight against the odds. Jack is there by Willie’s side, not because of the money, not because of the power, not because of anything like that. Why is Jack there? Jack isn’t sure himself. It is a complex question, one that keeps popping through the novel, one that gets answered many times and yet remains open to interpretations. Willie, who is commonly called the boss, says that it is because it is in Jack’s nature? Is it so? But what kind of nature are we talking about?
Jack Burden is, true to his surname, a burdened man. Burdened with both his and his future p…

Invisible cities by Italo Calvino (book review and recommendation)

Invisible Cities is a novel by Italian writer Italo Calvino. Originally published in  1972, this novel remains popular with modern readers. Before I get to the review, I have a confession to make. I'm actually using a few photographs from another book (written in Italian) because I have listened to an audio version of this book. I could find and repost a photograph of this book, but what would be the point? I prefer to use my own book photography, because it feels more authentic.

I listened to an audio version of this book twice (which technically puts it into a 'reread' category), for two days in a row, while I was working on a new painting. The painting turned out pretty much perfect, should I thank Calvino for that? I'm not kidding, perhaps the beauty of his prose really helped (or somehow improved) my painting process. It is not such a far fetched idea as it might seem at first. The first time I listened to this book, I was mostly focused on the form that is to say…