Nineteen Eighty-Four: sixty years on

orwellGeorge Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four may or may not be the most important novel of the 20th, as claimed on the front page of the Times earlier this week, although it is a very important one. The novel celebrates the 60th anniversary of its first publication on June 08. Naturally all the papers have been full of it. Here’s a rundown of the best bits:

The Torygraph offers a handy A-Z of Orwell, which includes the delightful vignette about the Queen Mother sending a Royal Messenger to Secker & Warburg to buy a copy of Animal Farm. They’d sold out. So off he goes in his bowler hat to the Freedom Bookshop, the anarchist bookshop in Whitechapel.

It also backs up this coverage with this splendid collection of Orwell quotations and points towards clips from this excellent BBC documentary on his life and words, now available on YouTube.

Over at the New Statesman, which once spiked Orwell’s eyewitness account of the Spanish Civil War, Keith Gesson praises Orwell’s “eternal vigilance”, while DJ Taylor claims that his novels of the 1930s were even more frightening.

Robert Harris in the Times offers this more general piece which suggests, erroneously in my opinion, that 1984 would have lost some of its “unassailable posthumous integrity” if Orwell hadn’t have suffered an early death. Really?

The LA Times takes the tourist route: you too can go on a Orwell holiday.

While I might go and see Orwell: A Celebration at the Trafalgar Studios in Whitehall.

share this
———————–

add to del.icio.us :: Add to Blinkslist :: add to furl :: Digg it :: add to ma.gnolia :: Stumble It! :: seed the vine :: :: TailRank :: post to facebook