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Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Down and Out in Paris and London

George Orwell (whose real name was Eric Arthur Blair btw, in case you didn't know, I found out only just now) seems to me one of those authors who is virtually synonymous with his best-selling novel, 1984 in this case. It has been a long time since I read that dystopian vision of his future (and our past I guess), but I had also admired Animal Farm when I read it as an adolescent. Additionally, Down and Out in Paris and London seemed to be a good precursor to my move to Paris, so...I picked it up on my dad's shelf.

Orwell describes his life as a menial worker in France and as a tramp in England (in the areas surrounding London). It does not seem to be quite certain, whether he inadvertently tumbled into such a dire financial state that he was forced to lead that kind of life, or whether he exposed himself voluntarily to it in order to obtain a glimpse to a world which would otherwise be closed for him. In either case, the novel (is it even a novel?) is written very prosaic, Orwell is not one to impress with convoluted phrases, thoughts or ideas, yet this seems to fit his subject matter more anyway. The book is a very good read, what is problematic is that it's a very journalistic work, one which doesn't necessarily contain a lot of lessons or information on today's world. It offers a snapshot of poverty in Paris and London in the 1920s. Nothing more but then of course nothing less.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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