As he Pleased

Frank Kermode has written a lovely article on George Orwell's columns for The Tribune. It's in the latest New York Review of Books. It's not available online, I'm afraid.

I think I might have said this before, but whenever I have a look at Orwell's As I Please-columns, I'm struck by the similarity in approach to bloggers I read. These texts might be the closest I've come to finding blog-like texts in pre-digital literature. Casual observations, notes, sketches and ideas from the margins of his novels. He started writing them during WWII and it feels occasionally like reading a Riverbend-style "witness"-blog written by a British belle-lettristic intellectual during the 1940's. Lots of literary references and sketches of everyday life, but with the constant threat of blitz bombs, firestorms and V2 rockets.

...But the blog-thing really isn't the most interesting thing about these texts. The most interesting thing about them is that they're excellent. They're well-written, well-argued and you should read them. There's about 80 of them.


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