Recommended: “The Intimate Orwell”

The New York Review of Books just published a wonderful review of two new (or rather, complete) collections of George Orwell’s diaries and correspondence. I adore Orwell, but I guess you could say I “discovered” him somewhat late. While I’ve read his major novels and essays, and know the bare-bones details about his life, the more I read about and by the man—whose pen name was apparently chosen at random to spare his parents the embarrassment of the revelations in the roman à clef Down and Out in Paris and London—the more I admire and relate to him. In a world capable of perpetuating the crimes he wrote of, Orwell stands out as almost thoroughly noble; his ethical probity, insight and artfulness seem unparalleled to this day. They really don’t make ’em like that anymore.

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