Facing Unpleasant Facts: Narrative Essays - George Orwell
George Orwell’s life and works prove that clarity of language derives from clarity of thought. Written in an age of clashing ideological systems, Facing Unpleasant Facts: Narrative Essays (Harcourt, $25) reveals a mind indefatigably opposed to cliché and cant. On the essential questions of his time—fascism, Stalinism, imperialism—Orwell was right as well as interesting. As Packer notes, the genius of Orwell’s method was his commitment to observed fact. Orwell was there—in the Republican lines in Spain, in colonial Burma, in London during the Blitz, in a dismal holding pen for tramps, in the country of terrifying credulity that is childhood—where political dogma and bromides meet the weak human flesh they work on. The clarity and simple strength of Orwell’s prose is legendary. With these narrative essays, readers will understand that Orwell’s style is the voice of integrity on the page.