Saturday, August 09, 2008

George Orwell Blogs

This is a brilliant idea: The Orwell Prize will be posting George Orwell's diary from 1938-41 in blog form - Orwell will be blogging along with the rest of us!

I'd love to see more diaries/journals from well-known figures posted in this way. When you read an entry a day, you get a better sense of the time elapse and change that informs the writing and thinking. Can you imagine reading Anne Frank's diary on a day-by-day basis? I recently read Michael Palin's (of Monty Python) diary and would have loved to see it in a blog form.

Anyways, this gives me a great excuse to post a quote from Orwell's essay Politics and the English Language, in which he has some fun and translates a well-known passage from Ecclesiastes into "modern English of the worst sort":

"I returned and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all."
"Objective considerations of contemporary phenomena compel the conclusion that success or failure in competitive activities exhibits no tendency to be commensurate with innate capacity, but that a considerable element of the unpredictable must invariably be taken into account."