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ORWELL- WINTRY CONSCIENCE OF A GENERATION

JEFFREY MEYERS

51 ratings by GoodReads
ISBN 10: 039304792X / ISBN 13: 9780393047929
Published by NY: W W NORTON, 2000, NY, 2000
Used Condition NICE FIRM
From Mikes books (dallas, TX, U.S.A.) Quantity Available: 1
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FIRM. NICE/NICE. First Edition. BIOGRAPHY. BY AUTHOR. Bookseller Inventory # 002461

About this title:

Synopsis:

This, the first biography to draw on a close study of the new "Complete Works", sheds a new light on this extraordinary literary figure through interviews with family and friends, and research into material in the Orwell archive. It also includes previously unpublished photographs. A child of the waning British empire, Orwell came to reject the class system and through his writing forged a new social consciousness that continues to engage modern intellectual thought. Meyers reveals the human failings of this creative visionary and offers a dark - but nuanced - portrait of the legendary figure.

Review: It was a fellow English writer, V.S. Pritchett, who called George Orwell (1903-50) "the wintry conscience of a generation," and wintry is certainly an appropriate adjective for Jeffrey Meyers's somber portrait. It's not that veteran biographer Meyers doesn't admire the author of Animal Farm and 1984; he rightly sees Orwell as one of the 20th century's most penetrating critics of totalitarianism and most passionate advocates for a more humane society. He also notes that this combative polemicist could be "kind and gentle in his personal relations." But there's no way to make the chronicle of Orwell's life into a cheerful story. Born Eric Blair, he had an unhappy childhood, stifled by the conventions of a class system he grew to despise. Writing under the name George Orwell, he offended fellow socialists with his blunt criticisms of their failures in The Road to Wigan Pier, then, in Homage to Catalonia, infuriated communists by denouncing Stalinist persecutions of anarchists during the Spanish Civil War. His first wife died suddenly at age 39; his second married him on his deathbed. By the time 1984 made Orwell famous and wealthy in 1949, he knew the tuberculosis that had plagued him since childhood would soon kill him. As was the case in his books on F. Scott Fitzgerald, Edmund Wilson, and many others, Meyers's brisk narrative goes no deeper than the conventional wisdom about Orwell's writing, and his psychological assessments are similarly accurate but superficial. But for those just getting to know England's most scrupulous and influential political novelist, this no-frills biography makes a good introduction. --Wendy Smith

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Bibliographic Details

Title: ORWELL- WINTRY CONSCIENCE OF A GENERATION

Publisher: NY: W W NORTON, 2000, NY

Publication Date: 2000

Binding: FIRM

Book Condition: NICE

Dust Jacket Condition: NICE

Signed: BY AUTHOR

Edition: First Edition

Book Type: BIOGRAPHY

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