Monday, 11 May 2009

_______________here's a stirring piece from the Guardian on the writing of one of the great books of the twentieth century.

The masterpiece that killed George Orwell
(It's quite long. A couple of snippets:)
The circumstances surrounding the writing of Nineteen Eighty-Four make a haunting narrative that helps to explain the bleakness of Orwell's dystopia. Here was an English writer, desperately sick, grappling alone with the demons of his imagination in a bleak Scottish outpost in the desolate aftermath of the second world war...

On Jura he would be liberated from these distractions but the promise of creative freedom on an island in the Hebrides came with its own price. Years before, in the essay "Why I Write", he had described the struggle to complete a book: "Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven by some demon whom one can neither resist or [sic] understand. For all one knows that demon is the same instinct that makes a baby squall for attention. And yet it is also true that one can write nothing readable unless one constantly struggles to efface one's personality." Then that famous Orwellian coda. "Good prose is like a window pane...

Nineteen Eighty-Four was published on 8 June 1949 and was almost universally recognised as a masterpiece... It was a fleeting moment of happiness; he lingered into the new year of 1950. In the small hours of 21 January he suffered a massive haemorrhage in hospital and died alone... aged 46.


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I read on wine label last week that the wine i was drinking is 'iconic'. While i was trying to figure out how a liquid can be 'iconic', I subsequently read that the new release of the great Grange Hermitage is 'iconic'. How can a 'release' be 'iconic'. Somebody make these people stop.

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5 Comments:

OpenID adamhorovitz said...

Perhaps it's simply a typo for 'ichoric' and they mean to imply it's like the blood of the Greek gods? Or maybe the archaic meaning of ichor is the one they want to suggest - did the wine taste like a watery foetid discharge from a wound?

11 May 2009 6:37:00 am GMT-5  
Blogger Matthew Adams said...

maybe they had a construction accident, and bits of tile, paint, cement, wood and grout got mixed into the wine. It now has a subtle hint of icon.

And the word verification for today is predingo. I suspect this word is used to describe aspects of Meryl Streep's career, i.e her career predingo, or her career postdingo.

11 May 2009 7:23:00 am GMT-5  
Blogger spacedlaw said...

Iconic? So you may be worshiping at their altar?
Thee are far worse thing to worship than good wine (although it should not be overdone lest it goes straight to their head).

14 May 2009 1:14:00 am GMT-5  
Blogger Hayley said...

There's a lot of talk about Jura in the papers of late because Will Self just finished his latest novel up there, or summat.

15 May 2009 7:34:00 am GMT-5  
Anonymous Marine Boy said...

Flicking through the radio stations in the car this afternoon I chanced to hear BBC Radio 2's Steve Wright describe Selina Scott as an "iconic television presenter." Nobody can make these people stop.

3 June 2009 6:29:00 pm GMT-5  

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