Michael Rank (1950-2017)

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.

George Orwell in Chinese (and Tibetan)

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 populist politics

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".

Was George Orwell a populist antisemite?

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.

Was George Orwell a populist antisemite?

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.

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