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Homage to Catolina

Discussion in 'Entertainment, Culture, and Sports' started by Alex_O, Nov 14, 2004.

  1. Alex_O

    Alex_O Well-Known Member

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    Finished reading Orwell's Homage to Catolina a while back .

    Now I wouldn't say It's not worth reading, but it seems popular opinion loves it . Modern Library 100 book list National Review List all list it as one of the best books of last century. And Orwell is usually very highly valued. I've enjoyed his fiction but this didn't cut it too much for me.

    The book takes place in Civil War Spain where all good socialist anarchists went to help. The story focuses on how much the war became less about revolution and more about the hard line soviet communists taking power from spanish anarcho's and socialists. Orwell seems suprised that even revolutionary minded people can be so power hungry,as to execute people for made up charges etc.

    To me many of the things he described were pretty obvious, of course I don't think that my political group is somehow truly more noble than others as he did. I found the book basically a personal discovery a fall from ideals, after which he still mantained his core beliefs in a peoples revolution.

    The prose wasn't all that vivid and the war was not all that dangerous for him, Orwell himself increased his chance for death, therefore I felt litle sympathy for him . I fail to find much reedeming quality in this book to and can't call it one of the best of the whole century or anything close.

    Someone want to fill me in what exactly am I missing? Anyone agree?
     


  2. Thracozaag

    Thracozaag Distinguished Member

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    I actually enjoyed the book very much.  I'm a huge Orwell fan (my favourite is Burmese Days), and really only consider Animal Farm to be "overrated".

    koji
     


  3. Alex_O

    Alex_O Well-Known Member

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    What did you like about the book ?

    Good Ideas good description good analysis?
     


  4. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    Really? I had the opposite reaction. I thought Animal Farm was deliciously clever. I found Burmese Days heavy handed, in that the main English character was so over-the-top in his hatred of Britain and the empire, and the main Burmese character was so revoltingly obsequious in his flattery of the English.
     


  5. Thracozaag

    Thracozaag Distinguished Member

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    I think part of the problem was that I had Animal Farm shoved down my throat (as was Scarlet Letter and the most overrated book of the century, Lord of the Flies). I re-read it recently and was amused by it, nothing more.
    Burmese Days, anti-English sentiments aside,(I suppose Orwell had very ambivalent feelings towards his homeland) was a novel of depth, skill, and feeling. I also really enjoyed Keep the Aspidistra Flying and Down and Out in Paris and London. What a fascinating life he led.

    koji
     


  6. Thracozaag

    Thracozaag Distinguished Member

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    I like how he exposed (in his wittily incisive way) how all these so-called political movements (supposed to naively "help the people) are basically bullshit.

    koji
     


  7. Alex_O

    Alex_O Well-Known Member

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    I don't know to me it seemed like he was naive to begin with and blinded by his own passion for revolution, it also bothers me he made no conclusion about the inherent problem with any sort of dictatorship. He makes a point of mentioning the good "dictatorship of the proletariat" . Yet I get the feeling at the end of the book he still supports it.

    Remember the point he makes about what some spanish use to plow the fields bc's of the revolution, stone age tools basically. Yet he doesn't connect his own political feelings with a retardation of inovation if not worse.

    I credit him for questioning his beliefs much more than most ever would but he really doesn't seem to change deep down.
     


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