Friday, 24 June 2016

The latest books I have read ...

The latest books I have finished reading are both related to Orwell, one having been written by him - Down and Out in Paris and London and the other one written by Emma Larkin tracking his life in Burma - Finding George Orwell in Burma. 

Bill Kerwin's critic on George Orwell's is quite similar, ideologically speaking, to what I might have said about it had I not read his, so I'll therefore quote it in this article.
"Orwell is among other things a master of disgust, a writer who can describe a squalid apartment building, an aging painted whore or a drunken old man with just the right details to make the reader's nose twitch with displeasure, his stomach rise into the throat with revulsion. What makes this book so good is that although he may continually evoke this reaction in his account of the working and the wandering poor Orwell never demeans or dismisses the human beings who live in this repulsive environment. The people he describes may be disgusting, but they are resourceful too, and Orwell makes it clear that it is the eceonomic system itself, not the character flaws of particular individuals caught up in the system which is to blame for so much squalor and suffering.
I would recommend this book to any one who wishes to read a vivid description of those who live beneath the underbelly of society and the stratagems they use to survive, whether they be recently impoverished men endeavoring to maintain respectability, Paris dishwashers sweating through their underground existence, or British tramps enduring the daily bone - wearying trek for a cheap place to lay their heads."
Emma Larkin's book is very interesting and I wish I had read it before having travelled to Myanmar, not that it would have made much of a difference as to what I saw but it would have at least provided me with an insight as to what life in Burma was during the colonial time and the weight that colonial experience has had on Burma today.



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