"De tous les carrefours importants, le visage à la moustache noire vous fixait du regard. BIG BROTHER VOUS REGARDE, répétait la légende, tandis que le regard des yeux noirs pénétrait les yeux de Winston... Au loin, un hélicoptère glissa entre les toits, plana un moment, telle une mouche bleue, puis repartit comme une flèche, dans un vol courbe. C'était une patrouille qui venait mettre le nez aux fenêtres des gens. Mais les patrouilles n'avaient pas d'importance. Seule comptait la Police de la Pensée."
Christian Gonon interprète avec virtuosité un des plus grands textes de George Orwell : avec lui, nous entrons dans le monde totalitaire de Big Brother, à la frontière entre science-fiction et réalité.
« Un certain 21 juin eut lieu en Angleterre la révolte des animaux. Les cochons dirigent le nouveau régime. Snowball et Napoléon, cochons en chef, affichent un règlement :
"Tout ce qui est sur deux jambes est un ennemi. Tout ce qui est sur quatre jambes ou possède des ailes est un ami. Aucun animal ne portera de vêtements. Aucun animal ne dormira dans un lit. Aucun animal ne boira d'alcool. Aucun animal ne tuera un autre animal. Tous les animaux sont égaux."
Le temps passe. La pluie efface les commandements. L'âne, un cynique, arrive encore à déchiffrer :
"Tous les animaux sont égaux, mais (il semble que cela ait été rajouté) il y en a qui le sont plus que d'autres." »
Guerre d'Espagne, sort réservé aux plus pauvres dans les hôpitaux du début du XXe siècle, vocation d'écrivain mêlée de vision politique, formes subreptices de la censure littéraire... Dans ces six textes aux multiples échos avec ses grandes oeuvres, l'auteur de 1984 et de Dans la dèche à Paris et à Londres déploie toute la force de son engagement.
« Je le répète, il n'y a pas de livre dénué de préjugé politique. L'idée selon laquelle l'art ne devrait rien avoir affaire avec la politique constitue elle-même une opinion politique. »
« C'est lorsqu'on commence à entretenir une relation professionnelle avec les livres que l'on découvre à quel point ils sont généralement mauvais. »
Ce recueil inédit présente quatre textes sur le livre et la lecture écrits par l'auteur de 1984. Nourri de ses expériences de lecteur, de critique littéraire et de libraire, George Orwell y déploie son génie visionnaire allié à un humour ravageur.
Traduit de l'anglais (Grande-Bretagne) par Charles Recoursé
Il était une fois un monde où la liberté n'existait pas, où chacun était sous le contrôle de tous, et surtout d'un seul : le Grand Frère.
Il était une fois un monde où la vérité répondait aux intérêts de quelques-uns. Où le passé était réécrit selon les besoins du présent. Où le principe de non-contradiction n'avait plus cours. Ce qui était faux hier est vrai aujourd'hui. 2 + 2 = 5.
Dans ce monde, ni nos rêves ni nos désirs ne nous appartiennent plus. ' Ils ne peuvent pas entrer dans notre tête ', se dit le héros. L'histoire montera que si, ils le peuvent.
Mil neuf cent quatre-vingt-quatre est le récit de la résistance d'un homme ordinaire face à une machine de mort indestructible. Paru en 1949, le roman est une satire des totalitarismes, déguisée en une farce tragique, d'une glaçante actualité. Par son pouvoir de prémonition, Mil neuf cent quatre-vingt-quatre est de ces chefs-d'oeuvre qui nous marquent à jamais.
'It is the history of a revolution that went wrong-and of the excellent excuses that were forthcoming at every step for the perversion of the original doctrine,' wrote George Orwell for the first edition of ANIMAL FARM in 1945. His simple and tragicfable, telling of what happens when the animals drive out Mr Jones and attempt to run the farm themselves, has since become a world-famous classic of English prose.
'Surely the most important fictional satire to be written in twentieth-century Britain' Malcolm BradburyIncludes Orwell's proposed preface that was discovered years after the first edition had been published, as well as his unique preface for the Ukrainian edition. Also contains explanatory footnotes.
Years in insurance and marriage to the joyless Hilda have been no more than death in life to George Bowling. This and fear of another war take his mind back to the peace of his childhood in a small country town. But his return journey to Lower Binfield brings complete disillusionment.
Shooting an Elephant' is Orwell's searing and painfully honest account of his experience as a police officer in imperial Burma; killing an escaped elephant in front of a crowd 'solely to avoid looking a fool'. The other masterly essays in this collection include classics such as 'My Country Right or Left', 'How the Poor Die' and 'Such, Such were the Joys', his memoir of the horrors of public school, as well as discussions of Shakespeare, sleeping rough, boys' weeklies and a spirited defence of English cooking. Opinionated, uncompromising, provocative and hugely entertaining, all show Orwell's unique ability to get to the heart of any subject.
These essays, reviews and articles illuminate the life and work of one of the most individual writers of this century - a man who created a unique literary manner from the process of thinking aloud and who elevated political writing to an art.
Contains the complete novels of George Orwell: Animal Farm, Burmese Days, A Clergyman's Daughter, Coming up for Air, Keep the Aspidistra Flying and Nineteen Eighty-Four.Includes explanatory notes on the etymology of the language 'Newspeak'.
One of the BBC's '100 Novels that Shaped the World''Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past' Hidden away in the Record Department of the sprawling Ministry of Truth, Winston Smith skilfully rewrites the past to suit the needs of the Party. Yet he inwardly rebels against the totalitarian world he lives in, which demands absolute obedience and controls him through the all-seeing telescreens and the watchful eye of Big Brother, symbolic head of the Party. In his longing for truth and liberty, Smith begins a secret love affair with a fellow-worker Julia, but soon discovers the true price of freedom is betrayal. George Orwell's dystopian masterpiece, Nineteen Eighty-Four is perhaps the most pervasively influential book of the twentieth century.
This is the essential edition of the essential book of modern times, 1984, now annotated for students with an introduction by D. J. Taylor.Ever since its publication in 1948, George Orwell's terrifying vision of a totalitarian regime where Big Brother controls its citizens like 'a boot stamping on a human face' has become a touchstone for human freedom, and one of the most widely-read books in the world. In this new annotated edition Orwell's biographer D. J. Taylor elucidates the full meaning of this timeless satire, explaining contemporary references in the novel, placing it in the context of Orwell's life, elaborating on his extraordinary use of language and explaining the terms such as Newspeak, Doublethink and Room 101 that have become familiar phrases today.
Throughout history, some books have changed the world. They have transformed the way we see ourselves - and each other. They have inspired debate, dissent, war and revolution. They have enlightened, outraged, provoked and comforted. They have enriched lives - and destroyed them. Now Penguin brings you the works of the great thinkers, pioneers, radicals and visionaries whose ideas shook civilization, and helped make us who we are.Whether puncturing the lies of politicians, wittily dissecting the English character or telling unpalatable truths about war, Orwell's timeless, uncompromising essays are more relevant, entertaining and essential than ever in today's era of spin.
Beginning with a dilemma about whether he spends more money on reading or smoking, George Orwell's entertaining and uncompromising essays go on to explore everything from the perils of second-hand bookshops to the dubious profession of being a critic, from freedom of the press to what patriotism really means. Throughout history, some books have changed the world. They have transformed the way we see ourselves - and each other. They have inspired debate, dissent, war and revolution. They have enlightened, outraged, provoked and comforted. They have enriched lives - and destroyed them. Now Penguin brings you the works of the great thinkers, pioneers, radicals and visionaries whose ideas shook civilization and helped make us who we are.
In this chronicle of his experiences as a militiaman in the Spanish Civil War, George Orwell brings to bear all the force of his humanity, passion and clarity, describing with bitter intensity the bright hopes and cynical betrayals of that chaotic and brutal episode in European history.
'An unrivalled picture of the rumours, suspicions and treachery of civil war' Anthony BeevorContains explanatory footnotes, as well as an appendix of removed chapters from the first edition.
Set in the days of the Empire, with the British ruling in Burma, Burmese Days describes both indigenous corruption and Imperial bigotry, when 'after all, natives were natives - interesting, no doubt, but finally only a "subject" people, an inferior people with black faces'. Against the prevailing orthodoxy, Flory, a white timber merchant, befriends Dr Veraswami, a black enthusiast for Empire. The doctor needs help. U Po Kyin, Sub- divisional Magistrate of Kyauktada, is plotting his downfall. The only thing that can save him is European patronage: membership of the hitherto all-white Club. While Flory prevaricates, beautiful Elizabeth Lackersteen arrives in Upper Burma from Paris. At last, after years of 'solitary hell', romance and marriage appear to offer Flory an escape from the 'lie' of the 'pukka sahib pose'.
Gordon Comstock loathes dull, middle-class respectability and worship of money. He gives up a 'good job' in advertising to work part-time in a bookshop, giving him more time to write. But he slides instead into a self-induced poverty that destroys his creativity and his spirit. Only Rosemary, ever-faithful Rosemary, has the strength to challenge his commitment to his chosen way of life. Through the character of Gordon Comstock, Orwell reveals his own disaffection with the society he once himself renounced.
'You have talked so often of going to the dogs - and well, here are the dogs, and you have reached them.' George Orwell's vivid memoir of his time among the desperately poor and destitute in London and Paris is a moving tour of the underworld of society. Here he painstakingly documents a world of unrelenting drudgery and squalor - sleeping in bug-infested hostels and doss houses, working as a dishwasher in the vile 'Hôtel X', living alongside tramps, surviving on scraps and cigarette butts - in an unforgettable account of what being down and out is really like.Includes an introduction by Dervla Murphy, as well as definitive footnotes assigned to Orwell.
Intimidated by her father, the rector of Knype Hill, Dorothy performs her submissive roles of dutiful daughter and bullied housekeeper. Her thoughts are taken up with the costumes she is making for the church school play, by the hopelessness of preaching to the poor and by debts she cannot pay in 1930s Depression England. Suddenly her routine shatters and Dorothy finds herself down and out in London. She is wearing silk stockings, has money in her pocket and cannot remember her name. Orwell leads us through a landscape of unemployment, poverty and hunger, where Dorothy's faith is challenged by a social reality that changes her life.
'This selection is a ceaseless delight ... there is a treat on almost every page' Daily Telegraph
George Orwell wrote, in his words, from 'a desire to see things as they are'. This new collection of his journalism and other writings, including articles, essays, broadcasts, poems, book and film reviews from across his career, shows his unmatched genius for observing the world. Whether discussing Polish immigration or Scottish independence, railing against racism, defending the English language or holding an imaginary conversation with Jonathan Swift, these pieces reveal a clear-eyed, entertaining and eternally relevant chronicler of his age.Edited with an introduction by Peter Davison'Orwell's luminous gift was for seeing things, for noticing what others missed, took for granted or simply found uninteresting, for discovering meaning and wonder in the familiarity of the everyday... Nothing escaped or seemed beneath his notice, which was what made him such a good reporter... Seeing Things As They Are is intended to be a collection first and foremost of his journalism, with preference given to lesser-known pieces and reviews as well as some of the poems he wrote. It is full of interest and curiosities' Jason Cowley, Financial Times'Peter Davison gives us a feast of [Orwell's] shorter writings, showing how from such hesitant beginnings he evolved into the writer of enduring importance we know, committed to decency, equality and political honesty, who could nevertheless wax lyrical over the first signs of spring or an imaginary English pub' Gordon Bowker, Independent
'England is a family in which the young are generally thwarted and most of the power is in the hands of irresponsible uncles and bedridden aunts. Still, it is a family.''England Your England' is one of the most compelling and insightful portraits of the nation ever written. Shot through with Orwell's deeply felt sense of patriotism and love for his homeland, the essay is at the same time unfailingly clear-eyed about the nation's failings: entrenched social inequality, a dishonest press and a class system that only works for those at the top. Written during the Second World War, as the bombs were falling on England, the essay today speaks to the nation's current moment of crisis just as urgently as it did in Orwell's own time. It is a crucial read for anyone who wants to understand who we are, and where we've come from.
'Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two equals four. If that is granted, all else follows.'This selection of George Orwell's writing, from both his novels and non-fiction, gathers together his thoughts on the subject of truth. It ranges from discussion of personal honesty and morality, to freedom of speech and political propaganda. Orwell's unique clarity of thought and illuminating scepticism provide the perfect defence against our post-truth world of fake news and confusion. 'The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.'Includes an introduction by Alan Johnson and passages from Burmese Days, The Road to Wigan Pier, Coming Up for Air, The Lion and the Unicorn, Animal Farm, Nineteen Eighty-Four, Orwell's letters, war-time diary, criticism and essays including 'Fascism and Democracy', 'Culture and Democracy', 'Looking Back on the Spanish War', 'As I Please', 'Notes on Nationalism', 'The Prevention of Literature', 'Politics and the English Language' and 'Why I Write'.
George Orwell's moving reflections on the English character and his passionate belief in the need for political change.The Lion and the Unicorn was written in London during the worst period of the blitz. It is vintage Orwell, a dynamic outline of his belief in socialism, patriotism and an English revolution. His fullest political statement, it has been described as 'one of the most moving and incisive portraits of the English character' and is as relevant now as it ever has been.
'The general uncertainty as to what is really happening makes it easier to cling to lunatic beliefs'Biting and timeless reflections on patriotism, prejudice and power, from the man who wrote about his nation better than anyone. Penguin Modern: fifty new books celebrating the pioneering spirit of the iconic Penguin Modern Classics series, with each one offering a concentrated hit of its contemporary, international flavour. Here are authors ranging from Kathy Acker to James Baldwin, Truman Capote to Stanislaw Lem and George Orwell to Shirley Jackson; essays radical and inspiring; poems moving and disturbing; stories surreal and fabulous; taking us from the deep South to modern Japan, New York's underground scene to the farthest reaches of outer space.