To Orwell Today,

Dear Jackie,

The BBC are currently serializing Down and Out in Paris and London on Radio 4. You can listen via their website at the address below (for a limited time):

Classic Serial, BBC, Radio 4, April 29, 2007:

Down and Out in Paris and London
by George Orwell, adapted by PG Morgan
Producer Steven Canny

George Orwell ...... Samuel Barnett
Boris/Reginald ...... Stephen Greif
Paddy ...... Jim Norton
Brenda ...... Naomi Frederick
Pawnshop owner/Roger ...... Sam Dale
Sailor/Heckler ...... Anthony Glennon
Russian cook/Heckler 2 ...... Rachel Bavidge
Romanian woman ...... Jasmine Callan
Romanian man/Gordon ...... John Dougall
Man 1/Minister ...... Jason Thorpe

A funny and heartbreaking account of Orwell's experience living below the poverty line in two of the world's richest cities. Written when he was a struggling writer in his 20s, he observes bug-infested hostels and doss houses, work as a dishwasher in Paris, surviving on scraps and cigarette butts, living alongside tramps, a star-gazing pavement artist and a starving Russian ex-army captain. He exposed a shocking, previously hidden world to his readers.

Best wishes,
Stephen Maule

Greetings Stephen,

Thank you doubleplus much for sending that doubleplus good radio adaptation of DOWN & OUT. Listening to it made my Sunday morning doubleplus enjoyable. I see it's being broadcast until next Saturday, May 5th.

DOWN & OUT is as applicable today as is "1984". Increasingly there are homeless people here in Canada's cities (and everywhere in the Western World) who could no doubt relate to Orwell's description of what they are suffering. He - more than any other writer - empathizes with them, as the following excerpt expresses:

"I can point to one or two things I have definitely learned by being hard up.
I shall never again think that all tramps are drunken scoundrels,
nor expect a beggar to be grateful when I give him a penny,
nor be surprised if men out of work lack energy."

All the best,
Jackie Jura


Jackie Jura
~ an independent researcher monitoring local, national and international events ~