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MLA International Bibliography is the definitive literary research database, indexing the most authoritative Orwell scholarship published in books and academic journals. MLA indexes and links to the entire JSTOR literary research collection as well as linking to many other full-text providers and the Colby College Libraries catalog. If you discover books or articles through MLA that are not available at Colby or through our lending partners, please request these items using your ILLiad Account.
The Cambridge Companion to George Orwell (2007) by John Rodden (Editor)George Orwell is regarded as the greatest political writer in English of the twentieth century. The massive critical literature on Orwell has not only become extremely specialized, and therefore somewhat inaccessible to the nonscholar, but it has also attributed to and even created misconceptions about the man, the writer and his literary legacy. For these reasons, an overview of Orwell's writing and influence is an indispensable resource. Accordingly, this 2007 Companion serves as both an introduction to Orwell's work and furnishes numerous innovative interpretations and fresh critical perspectives on it. Throughout the Companion, which includes chapters dedicated to two of Orwell's major novels, Nineteen Eighty-Four and Animal Farm, Orwell's work is placed within the context of the political and social climate of the time. His response to the Depression, British imperialism, Stalinism, World War II, and the politics of the British Left are also examined.
The Unsung Artistry of George Orwell (2008) by Loraine SaundersIn a timely and radically new reappraisal of George Orwell's fiction, Loraine Saunders reads Orwell's novels as tales of successful emancipation rather than as chronicles of failure. Contending that Orwell's novels have been undervalued as works of art, she offers extensive textual analysis to reveal an author who is in far more control of his prose than has been appreciated. Persuasively demonstrating that Orwell's novels of the 1930s such as A Clergyman's Daughter and Keep the Aspidistra Flying are no less important as literature than Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four, Saunders argues they have been victims of a critical tradition whose practitioners have misunderstood Orwell's narrative style, failed to appreciate Orwell's political stance, and were predisposed to find little merit in Orwell's novels. Saunders devotes significant attention to George Gissing's influence on Orwell, particularly with regard to his representations of women. She also examines Orwell's socialism in the context of the political climate of the 1930s, finding that Orwell, in his successful negotiation of the fine balance between art and propaganda, had much more in common with Charlie Chaplin than with writers like Stephen Spender or W. H. Auden. As a result of Saunders's detailed and accessible analysis, which illuminates how Orwell harmonized allegory with documentary, polyphonic voice with monophonic, and elegy with comedy, Orwell's contributions to the genre of political fiction are finally recognized.
Call Number: Bates PR6029.R8 Z78126 2008
Every Intellectual's Big Brother (2006) by John RoddenGeorge Orwell has been embraced, adopted, and co-opted by everyone from the far left to the neoconservatives. Each succeeding generation of Anglo-American intellectuals has felt compelled to engage the life, work, and cultural afterlife of Orwell, who is considered by many to have been the foremost political writer of the twentieth century. Every Intellectual's Big Brother explores the ways in which numerous disparate groups, Orwell's intellectual "siblings," have adapted their views of Orwell to fit their own agendas and how in doing so they have changed our perceptions of Orwell himself. By examining the politics of literary reception as a dimension of cultural history, John Rodden gives us a better understanding of Orwell's unique and enduring role in Anglo-American intellectual life. In Part One, Rodden opens the book with a section titled "Their Orwell, Left and Right," which focuses on Orwell's reception by several important literary circles of the latter half of the twentieth century. Beginning with Orwell's own contemporaries, Rodden addresses the ways various intellectual groups of the 1950s responded to Orwell. Rodden then moves on in Part Two to what he calls the "Orwell Confraternity Today," those contemporary intellectuals who have, in various ways, identified themselves with or reacted against Orwell. The author concludes by examining how Orwell's status as an object of admiration and detraction has complicated the way in which he has been perceived by readers since his death.
Call Number: E-Book
Finding George Orwell in Burma (2005) by Emma LarkinOver the years the American writer Emma Larkin has spent traveling in Burma, she's come to know all too well the many ways this brutal police state can be described as "Orwellian." The life of the mind exists in a state of siege in Burma, and it long has. But Burma's connection to George Orwell is not merely metaphorical; it is much deeper and more real. Orwell's mother was born in Burma, at the height of the British raj, and Orwell was fundamentally shaped by his experiences in Burma as a young man working for the British Imperial Police. When Orwell died, the novel-in-progress on his desk was set in Burma. It is the place George Orwell's work holds in Burma today, however, that most struck Emma Larkin. She was frequently told by Burmese acquaintances that Orwell did not write one book about their country--his first novel, Burmese Days--but in fact he wrote three, the "trilogy" that included Animal Farmand Nineteen Eighty-Four. When Larkin quietly asked one Burmese intellectual if he knew the work of George Orwell, he stared blankly for a moment and then said, "Ah, you mean the prophet!" In one of the most intrepid political travelogues in recent memory, Emma Larkin tells of the year she spent traveling through Burma using the life and work of George Orwell as her compass. Going from Mandalay and Rangoon to poor delta backwaters and up to the old hill-station towns in the mountains of Burma's far north, Larkin visits the places where Orwell worked and lived, and the places his books live still. She brings to vivid life a country and a people cut off from the rest of the world, and from one another, by the ruling military junta and its vast network of spies and informers. Using Orwell enables her to show, effortlessly, the weight of the colonial experience on Burma today, the ghosts of which are invisible and everywhere. More important, she finds that the path she charts leads her to the people who have found ways to somehow resist the soul-crushing effects of life in this most cruel police state. And George Orwell's moral clarity, hatred of injustice, and keen powers of observation serve as the author's compass in another sense too: they are qualities she shares and they suffuse her book--the keenest and finest reckoning with life in this police state that has yet been written. A brave and revelatory reconnaissance of modern Burma, one of the world's grimmest and most shuttered police states, using as its compass the life and work of George Orwell, the man many in Burma call simply "the prophet"
Call Number: Miller DS527.7 .L37 2005
Modernity and progress : Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Orwell (2005) by Ronald BermanBreaks new critical ground by exploring philosophical and aesthetic issues germane to the writings of three major modern literary figures. In the 1920s and '30s, understandings of time, place, and civilization were subjected to a barrage of new conceptions. Ronald Berman probes the work of three writers who wrestled with one or more of these issues in ways of lasting significance. Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and Orwell all grappled with fluid notions of time: Hemingway's absolute present, Fitzgerald's obsession with what might be and what might have been, and Orwell's concerns with progress. For these authors, progress is also tied to competing senses of place--for Fitzgerald, the North versus the South; for Hemingway, America versus Europe. At stake for each is an understanding of what constitutes true civilization in a post-war world. Berman discusses Hemingway's deployment of language in tackling the problems of thinking and knowing. Berman follows this notion further in examining the indisputable impact upon Hemingway's prose of Paul Cézanne's painting and the nature of perception. Finally, Berman considers the influence on Orwell of Aristotle and Freud's ideas of civilization, translated by Orwell into the fabric of 1984 and other writings. Ronald Berman is Professor of English at the University of California at San Diego and past chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities. He is author of six books, including "The Great Gatsby" and Fitzgerald's World of Ideas and Fitzgerald-Wilson-Hemingway: Language and Experience.
Call Number: Miller PS374.M535 B475 2005
George Orwell and the Radical Eccentrics (2004) by Kristin BluemelGeorge Orwell and the Radical Eccentrics celebrates the lives, literature, and politics of a group of four 'radical eccentrics' - the Tory anarchist poet Stevie Smith, the Marxist Indian nationalist Mulk Raj Anand, and the glamour-girl-turned-socialist Inez Holden - who formed a friendly circle around the famously radical and eccentric George Orwell. Demonstrating that Smith, Anand, and Holden matter for literary history just as they mattered for Orwell, George Orwell and the Radical Eccentrics gives name and shape to a neglected movement within interwar and wartime English writing. It focuses on the lives and texts of Smith, Anand, and Holden in order to argue that these three writers throw into question limiting assumptions about art and politics-about standard relations between literary form and sex, gender, race, class, and empire-in ways that their group's most influential radical, Orwell, cannot. Embarking upon a kind of biographical-political-cultural-literary criticism, this book brings the radical eccentrics' vital, potentially transformative conversation to the attention of scholars of English literature for the first time, suggesting fascinating new approaches to the study of literary London during the thirties and forties.
Call Number: Miller PR8478 .B55 2004
Imaginary Communities: utopia, the nation, and the spatial histories of modernity (2002) by Phillip E. WegnerDrawing from literary history, social theory, and political critique, this far-reaching study explores the utopian narrative as a medium for understanding the social space of the modern nation-state. Considering the narrative utopia from its earliest manifestation in Thomas More's sixteenth-century work Utopia to some of the most influential utopias of the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries, this book is an astute study of a literary genre as well as a nuanced dialectical meditation on the history of utopian thinking as a quintessential history of modernity. As he unravels the dialectics at work in the utopian narrative, Wegner gives an ambitious synthetic discussion of theories of modernity, considering and evaluating the ideas of writers such as Ernst Bloch, Louis Marin, Gilles Deleuze, Walter Benjamin, Martin Heidegger, Henri Lefebvre, Paul de Man, Karl Mannheim, Mikhail Bakhtin, J#65533;rgen Habermas, Slavoj Zizek, and Homi Bhabha.
Call Number: E-Book
Why Orwell Matters (2002) by Christopher HitchensHitchens on Orwell:This is not a biography, but I sometimes feel as if George Orwell requires extricating from a pile of saccharine tablets and moist hankies; an object of sickly veneration and sentimental overpraise, employed to stultify schoolchildren with his insufferable rightness and purity. This kind of tribute is often of the Rochefoucauldian type; suggestive of the payoff made by vice to virtue, and also of the tricks played by an uneasy conscience.What [Orwell] illustrates, by his commitment to language as the partner of truth, is that "views" do not really count; that it matters not what you think, but how you think, and that politics are relatively unimportant, while principles have a way of enduring, as do the few irreducible individuals who maintain allegiance to them.Others on Hitchens:"I have been asked whether I wish to nominate a successor, an inheritor, a dauphin or delphino. I have decided to name Christopher Hitchens."-Gore Vidal"Christopher Hitchens's writing has sweep and flair. He is accurate where others are merely dutiful, unpredictable where the tendency is to go for the cliché. In short, brilliant."-Edward W. Said"May his targets cower." -Susan Sontag
All Art Is Propaganda (2008) by George Orwell; George Packer (Editor); Keith GessenAs a critic, George Orwell cast a wide net. Equally at home discussing Charles Dickens and Charlie Chaplin, he moved back and forth across the porous borders between essay and journalism, high art and low. A frequent commentator on literature, language, film, and drama throughout his career, Orwell turned increasingly to the critical essay in the 1940s, when his most important experiences were behind him and some of his most incisive writing lay ahead.All Art Is Propagandafollows Orwell as he demonstrates in piece after piece how intent analysis of a work or body of work gives rise to trenchant aesthetic and philosophical commentary. With masterpieces such as "Politics and the English Language" and "Rudyard Kipling" and gems such as "Good Bad Books," here is an unrivaled education in, as George Packer puts it, "how to be interesting, line after line."
Call Number: Miller PR6029.R8 A626 2008
Facing Unpleasant Facts (2008) by George Orwell; George Packer (Editor)George Orwell was first and foremost an essayist. From his earliest published article in 1928 to his untimely death in 1950, he produced an extraordinary array of short nonfiction that reflected--and illuminated--the fraught times in which he lived and wrote. "As soon as he began to write something," comments George Packer in his foreword to this new two-volume collection, "it was as natural for Orwell to propose, generalize, qualify, argue, judge--in short, to think--as itwas for Yeats to versify or Dickens to invent."Facing Unpleasant Factscharts Orwell's development as a master of the narrative-essay form and unites classics such as "Shooting an Elephant" with lesser-known journalism and passages from his wartime diary. Whether detailing the horrors of Orwell's boyhood in an English boarding school or bringing to life the sights, sounds, and smells of the Spanish Civil War, these narrative essays weave together the personal and the political in an unmistakable style that is at once plainspoken and brilliantly complex.