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WAR BROADCASTS (edició 1985)


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Eric Blair, better known as George Orwell worked as a producer for radio broadcast during the Second World War. The talks were both cultural and political, meant to boost morale and act as counter-propaganda to the propaganda of the Axis powers. This letter shows how Orwell particularly chose to invite a Chinese speaker to defame and expose the Japanese invader and provide details about atrocities committed by Japanese soldiers in occupied territories in China. Recently, some of Orwell's works were banned in China. However, Orwell was an early proponent of socialism. The scripts of the war broadcasts and Orwell's correspondence with speakers was suddenly discovered in 1984, long after his death. They provide insight in Orwell's development as a political writer, particularly in becoming the author of the works he is mostly remembered for, nl Nineteen Eighty-Four and Animal Farm. A must read for postgraduate students specializing in George Orwell or war propaganda. ( )
  edwinbcn | Nov 13, 2018 |
Reviewed in the December 1987 issue of the Socialist Standard:
  Impossibilist | Oct 27, 2017 |
The war years were difficult but productive ones for Orwell. Refused for military service, he spent two years writing and broadcasting for the BBG wartime propaganda service to India before becoming literary editor of the socialist newspaper Tribune in 1943. His output of writing and journalism during this period was astonishing, from scripts for hundreds of wartime broadcasts to his weekly "As I Please" columns, book reviews, essays, and regular "London Letter" to American newspapers. It was also during this time that Orwell wrote Animal Farm, a "little squib of a story" that used an allegorical fable to skewer Soviet communism. With its theme of revolution betrayed, Orwell further alienated many of the English Left who continued to maintain their staunch, if increasingly uncomfortable, support for the Soviet Union.

Orwell was reminded of the bombardment in Barcelona when Hitler's furious blitz descended on London, and he responded with The Lion and the Unicorn, a long essay paying tribute to the loyalty of ordinary British folk and indicting what he called their "House of Lords" leadership. Except for The Road to Wigan Pier, The Lion and the Unicorn became Orwell's best-selling work to that date. That December, the prestigious U.S. Partisan Review invited Orwell to write "London Letters," which he kept up until 1946, and he also began a series of broadcasts for the BBC.

In the spring of 1941, Orwell had discovered that his work was being censored. In spite of his unhappiness at this governmental policy, he accepted a full-time job not long afterward with the Indian Section of the BBC's Empire Service, making propaganda broadcasts to indoctrinate Indians with "cultural imperialism," an agenda he eventually found he could not support. Because of his dedication to the war effort, Orwell tried his best with this job, but it was office drudgery of the worst sort for him, because he was passionately dedicated to Indian liberation. He even asked the BBC engineers to shut off the transmission power for his program, but they refused.

By the next spring, the threat of a Nazi invasion had largely dissipated and the sense of urgency lifted from British shoulders, leaving a dank sense of frustrated expectancy. Orwell concluded that his efforts at the BBC were futile because of continual official censorship.

In September 1943, in what Churchill called the "end of the beginning" of the war, Orwell had had enough. He resigned from the BBC, took on the literary editorship of the Tribune which he retained until 1945, and launched a project he had been thinking about since Spain, a kind of "parable" about "the gramophone mind" of Soviet Communism: Animal Farm, which he finished the next April. Rejected by Gollancz and several other publishers, Animal Farm was published by Fredric Warburg at the close of World War II. It received immediate and astonishing acclaim.
  antimuzak | Nov 6, 2006 |
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George Orwellautor primaritotes les edicionscalculat
West, W.J.Redactor/compositorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
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