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August 11, 2008 / chrisisgross

George Orwell’s Diary:Update

As I mentioned a while back The Orwell Prize is running a “real time” viewing of Orwell’s diary that he was writing while recovering in Morocco.

By real time I mean that the work is exactly 70 years old at the point that it is being published. So far after only three days of entries there are two things that I find very fascinating.

Firstly, the reactions to the entries by commenter’s are very anachronistic. There seems to be little recognition that the work being published is from a wholly different time. The reactions are truly in real time. Per an entry about villagers cutting out a snake’s tongue to “take out it’s sting.” most of the reactions are about animal cruelty, even though the notion of animal cruelty was not widely thought about or even a cause at that time.

The reactions to the work fit the trope of The Internet Commenter perfectly; they are reacting to the work as if it were any blog that they came across in their reader. Even though the diaries are an interesting peek into the personal record of Orwell and a different time period there is little recognition of the time difference which makes for another interesting document attached to the diaries.

Secondly, the first three entries are rather mundane by the standards that one would hold a literary giant, like Orwell, to. It is somewhat heartening to see that not everything one writes as a writer is gold. The great works are the products of much time, effort and editing. So when it comes to a daily diary/blog what have you it all can’t be genius, but the shear effort to keep up the good fight is what matters.


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  1. Richard W. Symonds / Aug 11 2008 3:51 pm

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