Sunday, November 13, 2011

who reads George Orwell?

Orwell wrote only 9 books. Most Americans are familiar with possibly two; 1984 and Animal Farm. He had others although the disinterest in them is palpable. I had two like new copies of his books Homage to Catalonia and The Road to Wigan Pier and I couldn't get a nibble. Finally, I took them along with a dozen other "orphans" to Bennie's and they ONLY took the Orwell. Because he's Orwell. But his writing style - is his. I mean, not everyone, myself included, like the way he writes. He's very morbid. The life he chose played out in his work. One can almost feel his exhaustion. And that isn't even his real name, I mean, he is as much a fictitious character as any he writes about!

Anyway, I got A Writer's Diary by Virginia Woolf and The Saddest Story: A Biography of Ford Madox Ford by Arthur Mizener, who seems to have had a cottage industry of biography writing as I think of it. He wrote a number of them. I don't know a whole lot about Ford. I read The Good Soldier and liked it okay. "okay", sheesh, I sound like Holden Caulfield. Next I will be saying "phonies" or something. Somewhere I have another book by Ford, a book of non-fiction actually. The March of Literature published by the Dial Press in 1938. Ford died in 1939. Was the book panned, is that why a 1971 biography of him not even mention the work?

The strands are too numerous. I get so sidetracked that I lose my place, or my head; both. So, yes, Orwell, I won't try and collect him. Joseph Conrad, yes, and THERE there is a tie in to this whole posting. Conrad and Ford collaborated on at least two novels!

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