George Orwell (English 246: Fall 2011)

Christopher Hitchens

December 16, 2011 · 2 Comments

Just this evening, famed author, noted atheist, and literary critic Christopher Hitchens passed away after a long struggled with esophageal cancer. Over the past twenty years, Hitchens has been one of the more vocal and well known literary thinkers on Orwell. Below, I attached a link to a 2002 BBC interview that focused on Hitchens’ view of Orwell. Much of it focuses on issues we have discussed in class, e.g. the name change, perceived homophobia, his struggle to be published, amongst other issues. Its an interesting interview that offers another shade into this very complicated literary figure. If you have a moment between exams, I’d recommend giving it a read through.

http://www.netcharles.com/orwell/articles/col-hitchens.htm

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2 responses so far ↓

  • Robert Anderson // December 16, 2011 at 6:16 am |

    Great article. I find the part about the Polish people discussing how 1984 describes the Soviet Union perfectly to be really interesting. Also it seems like Hitchens takes the positive outlook on the Newspeak Appendix, saying that Orwell predicted that the USSR would not last. Good find Scott.

  • Kate Giuliano // December 17, 2011 at 2:17 am |

    Thanks for sharing this article, Scott. I agree with Robert that Hitchens’ response about the Polish reaction to Nineteen Eighty-Four is most interesting. I think that Hitchens hit the nail on the head when he credited Orwell’s seemingly perfect description of the Soviet Union (despite his never having been there) to his days in English boarding school and to his experiences in both Burma and Spain.

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