Archive for May 28th, 2011

Orwell Is Bored By Doom

I sent you about two thirds of the rough draft of my novel yesterday. You are not to think that when finished it will be quite as broken-backed as at present, for with me almost any piece of writing has to be done over and over again. I wish I were one of those people who can sit down and fling off a novel in about four days. There is no news here. I am frightfully busy, suffering from the heat, and exercised about the things in my garden, which are going to dry up and die if this cursed weather doesn’t change. I have read nothing, I think, except periodicals, all of which depress me beyond words. Do you ever see the New English Weekly? It is the leading Social Credit paper. As a monetary scheme Social Credit is probably sound, but its promoters seem to think that they are going to take the main weapon out of the hands of the governing classes without a fight, which is an illusion. A few years ago I thought it rather fun to reflect that our civilisation is doomed, but now it fills me above all else with boredom to think of the horrors that will be happening within ten years—either some appalling calamity, with revolution and famine, or else all-round trustification and Fordification, with the entire population reduced to docile wage-slaves, our lives utterly in the hands of the bankers, and a fearful tribe of Lady Astors and Lady Rhonddas et hoc genus riding us like succubi in the name of Progress. Have you read Ulysses yet? It sums up better than any book I know the fearful despair that is almost normal in modern times. You get the same kind of thing, though only just touched upon, in Eliot’s poems. With E, however, there is also a certain sniffish “I told you so” implication, because as the spoilt darling of the Church Times he is bound to point out that all this wouldn’t have happened if we had not shut our eyes to the Light.

—George Orwell, letter to Brenda Salkeld, June 1933


When I Worked

May 2011
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