Many visitors to our PR History website have, I know, taken great interest in and followed the link on the “links and resources” page to the many wonderful photographs from China in the 1970s that Michael Rank uploaded a few years ago. Today, sadly, I just wanted you to know that Michael went to see Karl Marx on 20 May, after 5 years of struggle with bile duct cancer.
Call for Papers
11th Annual Patuxent Defense Forum
"Privacy, Ethics and UAVs: Was George Orwell a Prophet?"
Call for Papers
I have written a blog post [ https://ibisbill.wordpress.com/2014/01/02/nineteen-eighty-four-in-chinese/ ] on George Orwell's attitude to China (very pro-Chinese, anti-Japanese imperialist!) and on Chinese translations of his novel Nineteen Eighty-four, of which there are large numbers and to which the authorities have so far taken a surprisingly lenient attitude. I recently updated my blog post with information about translations of Orwell into Tibetan, published in PRC.
George Orwell's oeuvre has an international following, but, surprisingly, among both left and right-wing Americans, who believe that he is the guide to modern mind-control, moving more and more to an anticommunist position by the end of his life. But his wartime essays reveal a more complicated persona than is usually assumed. American Studies scholars should know about his oft-stated conflicts, and that he was more than a critic of "totalitarianism".
I was alarmed to read Orwell's wartime essays, including casual essays, letters, and including letter-essays to the American anti-Stalinist journal Partisan Review, for I confirmed what I had long suspected, that Orwell held some possibly semi-conscious antisemitic views, not unlike other British leftists, past and present.
I have been reading Orwell's essays, circa 1940-1943, and was distressed to see how little he knew about Jews, and how much he admired well known English poets whose antisemitism was not hidden. I concluded that, given Orwell's hostility to the "money power," that he is better known as a populist, than as the Socialist whose mantle he assumed.
I spent some months going over Orwell's oeuvre and the various biographies written mostly by adherents to the UK Labour Party, it appears, and have a divergent take on his attraction to the working classes everywhere, not just in Britain.