From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
"England is perhaps the only great country whose intellectuals are ashamed of their own nationality. In left-wing circles it is always felt that there is something slightly disgraceful in being an Englishman and that it is a duty to snigger at every English institution, from horse racing to suet puddings. It is a strange fact, but it is unquestionably true that almost any English intellectual would feel more ashamed of standing to attention during God save the King than of stealing from a poor box." --"England Your England" (1941) by George Orwell
"Orwell [...] broke the power of what Nabokov enjoyed calling "Bolshevik propaganda" over the minds of liberal intellectuals in England and America. He thereby put us twenty years ahead of our French opposite numbers. They had to wait for The Gulag Archipelago before they stopped thinking that liberal hope required the conviction that things behind the Iron Curtain would necessarily get better, and stopped thinking that solidarity against the capitalists required ignoring what the Communist oligarchs were doing."--Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity (1989) by Richard Rorty, p.170
"In the end the Party would announce that two and two made five, and you would have to believe it. It was inevitable that they should make that claim sooner or later: the logic of their position demanded it. Not merely the validity of experience, but the very existence of external reality, was tacitly denied by their philosophy."--Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949) by George Orwell
George Orwell (25 June 1903 – 21 January 1950) was an English novelist, essayist, journalist and critic. His work is characterised by lucid prose, biting social criticism, opposition to totalitarianism, and outspoken support of democratic socialism.
As a writer, Orwell produced literary criticism and poetry, fiction and polemical journalism; and is best known for the allegorical novella Animal Farm (1945) and the dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949). His non-fiction works, including The Road to Wigan Pier (1937), documenting his experience of working-class life in the north of England, and Homage to Catalonia (1938), an account of his experiences soldiering for the Republican faction of the Spanish Civil War (1936–1939), are as critically respected as his essays on politics and literature, language and culture. In 2008, The Times ranked George Orwell second among "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945".
Orwell's work remains influential in popular culture and in political culture, and the adjective "Orwellian"—describing totalitarian and authoritarian social practices—is part of the English language, like many of his neologisms, such as "Big Brother", "Thought Police", "Two Minutes Hate", "Room 101", "memory hole", "Newspeak", "doublethink", "proles", "unperson", and "thoughtcrime".
- 1934 – Burmese Days
- 1935 – A Clergyman's Daughter
- 1936 – Keep the Aspidistra Flying
- 1939 – Coming Up for Air
- 1945 – Animal Farm
- 1949 – Nineteen Eighty-Four