January 21, 2013

George Orwell's 'Dilemma' Remembered.

"A happy vicar I might have been
Two hundred years ago
To preach upon eternal doom
And watch my walnuts grow;

But born, alas, in an evil time,
I missed that pleasant haven,
For the hair has grown on my upper lip
And the clergy are all clean-shaven.

And later still the times were good,
We were so easy to please,
We rocked our troubled thoughts to sleep
On the bosoms of the trees.

All ignorant we dared to own
The joys we now dissemble;
The greenfinch on the apple bough
Could make my enemies tremble.

But girl's bellies and apricots,
Roach in a shaded stream,
Horses, ducks in flight at dawn,
All these are a dream.

It is forbidden to dream again;
We maim our joys or hide them:
Horses are made of chromium steel
And little fat men shall ride them.

I am the worm who never turned,
The eunuch without a harem;
Between the priest and the commissar
I walk like Eugene Aram;

And the commissar is telling my fortune
While the radio plays,
But the priest has promised an Austin Seven,
For Duggie always pays.

I dreamt I dwelt in marble halls,
And woke to find it true;
I wasn't born for an age like this;
Was Smith? Was Jones? Were you?"

by George Orwell

"A writer's starting point is always a feeling of partisanship, a sense of injustice.... I write because there is some lie that I want to expose, some fact to which I want to draw attention, and my initial concern is to get a hearing.....The job is to reconcile my ingrained likes and dislikes with the essentially public, non-individual activities that this age forces on all of us."

Orwell's dilemma lives on!


Georg said...

He is not forgotten. The book I liked most is "Hommage to Catalonia".


Id it is said...

I haven't read this one Georg; do you recommend I do?

Georg said...

Difficult to say because I don't know your centers of interest. This book is political and historical. IT is about someone who set out to do his duty as a trained soldier - take up arms to fight for the Spanish republic - and to find out that the leaders of the movement were mostly liers. Finally he had to run for his life.

This is a kind of serious comedy about a forgotten war but still very readable. Orwell at his best.

I would have answered earlier but was not informed by blogger.