SOCIALIST PEER ORWELL SOUTHWOLD PIER
To Orwell Today,
re: Andrew lives near River Orwell in England and chanced upon Orwell Today
You may be interested to hear that I went to Southwold the other day, where Blair/Orwell spent much of his youth. It's a genteel English resort, very upper middle class and proper, the sort of venue that Terence Rattigan had in mind for his play "Separate Tables".
On a wall on the pier, a local artist has painted a huge mural about Orwell, with his facade and the usual quotes from "Animal Farm" and "1984". It was a very cold, chilly windswept day when I visited, which seemed appropriate to Orwell's general mood, although I didn't hear a clock strike thirteen!
My adoration of Orwell, aside from his superb, simple beautiful prose style, is that he saw through Stalinism, wouldn't stomach the propaganda churned out by the Western World, but remained a passionate democratic socialist, who warmly supported the post war Attlee Labour Government, in my humble view, the greatest British Government of the 20th century. He particularly admired Aneurin Bevan, the complex Welshman who gave us our noble National Health Service, under so much pressure today.
You might like to know that D.J. Taylor, who wrote a much acclaimed biography of Orwell, lives here in Norwich, my home city.
Thanks for the interesting info about Orwell happenings in Southwold. A previous reader wrote in about visiting there too.
The windswept day you describe on your visit reminds me of the 1822 painting of Southwold I clipped out of a newspaper years ago.
I didn't know there was a mural of Orwell in Southwold -- was hoping you'd taken a picture -- but then googled and found several posted on-line.
It seems the artist partially used the 1937 photo of Orwell on Southwold beach as the model for his mural -- I love how he captured the eyes -- and the quotes are the essence of Orwell's writing.
You're so right-on for adoring Orwell for how he saw through Stalinism -- and every other totalitarian "ism" -- and that's why he's so great -- not just for his ability to write prose "as clear as a windowpane".
Orwell mentions Attlee and Bevan in some of his journalism, essays and letters and how he supported their aims for the Labour Party -- nationalizing of nation's resources for the benefit of society -- not corporate heads, corrupted politicians and aristocrats -- and he voted for Labour after the war. He was really enthusiastic and hopeful about a working man's party coming to power -- a government "of, by and for the people" -- Democratic Socialism -- which is nothing like Communism or Capitalism which always join forces against Socialism.
In his famous essay, WHY I WRITE, Orwell said that every word he'd written since coming back from the Spanish Civil War -- where he was on Stalin's hit-list and barely escaped capture and execution -- was AGAINST totalitarianism and FOR democratic socialism.
It's interesting, too, you living in the same city as Orwell biographer D J Taylor -- author of ORWELL: THE LIFE -- which came out in 2003. I own a copy, scanned below:
Taylor references Attlee and Bevan a few times in the book -- ie how Bevan, editor of TRIBUNE magazine, hired Orwell away from BBC in 1943 and gave him his own column -- the infamous AS I PLEASE series -- from which Orwell slammed Stalin and Communism on a regular basis. Then in 1948, as Minister of Health -- after Attlee became Prime Minister in 1945 -- Bevan personally interceded, at the request of Orwell's doctors, to fast-track importation of the new tuberculosis drug, streptomycin, in an attempt to save Orwell's life.
All the best,
To Orwell Today,
Yes I endorse all of your comments about Orwell and socialism. He just hated cant and people blindly following any Party line, and rightly put human decency above any ideology. I simply regard him as one of the noblest people of the 20th century.
Very best wishes,
George Orwell Mural, Southwold Pier, Suffolk, Great Britain, Geograph Photograph
SOLDIER ORWELL AT SPANISH FRONT
COMMUNISTS ENSLAVE BRITISH FREE PRESS
RUSSIAN KGB BUYS UK NEWSPAPERS
ORWELL ARCH ENEMY OF MARX
WINSTON'S DIARY IS ORWELL'S BOOK
STALIN PROUD OF KHADR SHOW TRIAL
ORWELL WROTE TO THE FUTURE
TROTSKY REVELLED IN SOVIET EVIL
EVIDENCE WINSTON FIGHTING BB
*ORWELL SOUTHWOLD TRIBUTE SONG
ORWELL NOT COMMIE, DUH
RUSSIAN COAL TO NEWCASTLE
ORWELL NOT A FABIAN
ORWELL ON TROTSKY ON STALIN
RICH RUSSIANS LIKE LENIN
ORWELL ANTI-LEFT & RIGHT
COMMUNIST CAPITALIST ORWELL MOVIES
LEFT, RIGHT AND SOCIALISM
SOVIET GULAG'S HAUNTING LEGACY
COLD WAR, WARM WAR
STALIN'S LIAR IN NEW YORK
ORWELL'S "CRYPTO-COMMIE" LIST
ORWELL'S PUBLISHING PROBLEMS
ORWELL'S DEMOCRATIC SOCIALSIM
ORWELL'S TRIBUNE WRITINGS
JFK OPPOSED MONOLITHIC CONSPIRACY
GOLDSTEIN CONSPIRACY IN 1984
CAPITALIST COMMUNISM OLIGARCHICAL COLLECTIVISM
WHY ORWELL WROTE 1984
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