Wednesday, September 3, 2014
For some reason I've never read any Orwell up to now. I suppose part of the reason is all the film versions of Animal Farm I've seen and the way that 1984 has infiltrated so many forms of media, I felt like I'd been overexposed to both without ever even turning a single page.
So it was one of his lesser known works, a book called Down and Out in Paris and London that get me to finally try one of his works. Down and Out, bizarrely, reminded me a lot of Gordon Ramsay's kitchen nightmares. The obvious comparison is when Orwell details the military style hierarchy of a large hotel's kitchen staff, the less obvious one is the morality of his work. He details events but then he gives an opinion on them and what human and interesting opinions he has, reminding me of when Gordon goes beyond being an observer and calls people on their bullshit.
After enjoying Down and Out so much it made sense to dive into 1984, something about the gritty reality Orwell clearly experienced in his life gave me faith that there would be an authenticity to 1984 that I hadn't previously had cause to expect. I was not disappointed, 1984 is beautiful, a work of art and felt to real to me. It's funny because it's been aped constantly for decades but even having been exposed to countless facsimiles the power of the original article had remained untouched, perhaps it was even enhanced.
1984 got me thinking a lot, about my own politics and thought patterns. I suppose the point is there is a little authoritarian apologist in us all but more than that it underlined something that I've really been taking for granted lately. The power to have my own thoughts, my own mind and my own life.
Next on my list is coming up for air!