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July 08, 2014

Chasing Orwell's ghost

"I had come to Jura, a remote island on Scotland’s west coast, to find the solitude George Orwell had sought 65 years earlier to finish his classic, Nineteen Eighty-Four. Having been brought up in the Scottish countryside myself and subjected to both its unconscionable boredom and inexplicable beauty, I was interested to find out why a writer, who according to biographer Jeffery Meyers 'hated Scotland', chose to live in the part of the country most essential to its identity-the Highlands. I also wanted to understand why a man so accustomed to city life had come to an inaccessible island of only 190 souls to find inspiration for a novel about totalitarianism in an urbanised state—why a writer at the peak of his celebrity ensconced himself in an austere farmhouse hidden in an inhospitable Scottish landscape."

Posted by Ghost of a flea at July 8, 2014 08:47 AM