Facing Unpleasant Facts: Narrative Essays
Essays by the author of 1984 on topics from “remembrances of working in a bookshop [to] recollections of fighting in the Spanish Civil War” (Publishers Weekly).
George Orwell was first and foremost an essayist, producing throughout his life an extraordinary array of short nonfiction that reflected—and illuminated—the fraught times in which he lived. “As soon as he began to write something,” comments George Packer in his foreword, “it was as natural for Orwell to propose, generalize, qualify, argue, judge—in short, to think—as it was for Yeats to versify or Dickens to invent.”
Facing Unpleasant Facts charts Orwell’s development as a master of the narrative-essay form and unites such classics as “Shooting an Elephant” with lesser-known journalism and passages from his wartime diary. Whether detailing the horrors of Orwell’s boyhood in an English boarding school or bringing to life the sights, sounds, and smells of the Spanish Civil War, these essays weave together the personal and the political in an unmistakable style that is at once plainspoken and brilliantly complex.
“Best known for his late-career classics Animal Farm and 1984, George Orwell—who used his given name, Eric Blair, in the earliest pieces of this collection aimed at the aficionado as well as the general reader—was above all a polemicist of the first rank. Organized chronologically, from 1931 through the late 1940s, these in-your-face writings showcase the power of this literary form.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
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But it is an unwritten law that even the sternest tramp majors do not search below
the knee, and in the end only one man was caught. This was Scotty, a little hairy
tramp with a bastard accent sired by cockney out of Glasgow. His tin of cigarette ...
The Tramp Major came marching down the passage with his heavy tread,
unlocking the doors and yelling to us to show a leg. Promptly the passage was
full of squalid shirt-clad figures rushing for the bathroom, for there was only one
tub full of ...
We smoked furtively, hiding our cigarettes like schoolboys when we heard the
Tramp Major's step, for smoking, though connived at, was officially forbidden.
Most of the tramps spent ten consecutive hours in this dreary room. It is hard to ...
The clock's hands stood at four, and supper was not till six, and there was nothing
left remarkable beneath the visiting moon.1 At last six o'clock did come, and the
Tramp Major and his as- sistant arrived with supper. The yawning tramps ...
I disinterred my eightpence and took the road with Nobby, a respectable,
downhearted tramp who carried a spare pair of boots and visited all the ... Only
the imbecile loitered at the spike gates, until the Tramp Major had to chase him
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - dypaloh - LibraryThing
About his tramping days, George Orwell tells us in the opening essay of Facing Unpleasant Facts, “Already, at eight o’clock in the morning, we were bored…There was nothing to talk about except the ... Read full review
FACING UNPLEASANT FACTS: Narrative EssaysUser Review - Kirkus
The first of two volumes of the British author's essays, compiled by journalist George Packer.Orwell (1903-50) was no Flaubert closeted in aesthetic concentration. He was a vigorous participant in the ... Read full review
Revenge Is Sour
The Case for the Open Fire
The Sporting Spirit
In Defence of English Cooking
A Nice Cup of Tea
The Moon Under Water
In Front of Your Nose
Some Thoughts on the Common Toad
England Your England
Dear Doktor Goebbels Your British Friends are Feeding Fine
Looking Back on the Spanish War
As I Please 1
As I Please 2
As I Please 3
As I Please 16
A Good Word for the Vicar of Bray
Why I Write
How the Poor Die
Such Such Were the Joys