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George Orwell

Luis Racionero: Homenaje a Orwell:

Como en el caso de Huxley, no es el estilo literario o la complejidad de los personajes o la sutileza de la descripción lo que da valor a sus novelas, sino el vigor visionario y el punto de vista humanista que subyace la narración: ambos inventan un futuro que nace del éxito de la tecnología, del triunfo faústico de la ciencia occidental, pero su formación clásica les obliga a resaltar la vertiente esclavizadora de ese paraíso tecnológico: el hombre puede dejar de ser la medida de todas las cosas y en su lugar pueden quedar los genes fabricados y la televisión: el Gran Hermano.

Margaret Atwood: Orwell and me.

Glenn Frankel: A Seer's Blind Spots (Washington Post)

But even while the orgy of praise and hagiography gathers steam, let's pause for a moment to remember the man himself, starting with all of the flaws that made him human. Based upon his self-critical writings and the accounts of those who knew him, Orwell was a strange and difficult person who had few friends, mistrusted foreigners and harbored a streak of self-righteousness. The characters in his novels are stiff and unconvincing, his portraits of women are one-dimensional and bear the distinct odor of unrepentant misogyny, and his occasional references to Jews are uncomfortable at best. And, oh yes, let's not forget this: As a prophet he was almost always wrong; 1984, as we now know, looked nothing like "Nineteen Eighty-Four."

"In a peaceful age I might have written ornate or merely descriptive books, and might have remained almost unaware of my political loyalties," he once wrote. "As it is I have been forced into becoming a sort of pamphleteer." And, indeed, it was the age that helped forge Orwell. He wrote his most compelling work during a 10-year span between 1938 and 1949 -- one of humankind's most perilous decades, when the world experienced Hitler and Stalin and a cataclysm of warfare and slaughter. Orwell's writings vividly help explain who these men were, what their hold was on other men and how much they had in common.

He couldn't quite remove the anti-Semitism as well. Mullally recalls complaining one day, when they were having pints at the pub near the Tribune offices, about the difficulties he was having turning German Jewish writer Ricky Loewenthal's tortuous prose into readable English. "What do you expect," Orwell replied, "with all these Middle European Jews practically running the paper's politics?"

Definition of totalitarianism:

"To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully-constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them."