A Conversation for George Orwell - Author

Original Orwell?

Post 1

Strangefish

I think George Orwell was a bit of a con - the ideas for his two 'great' books were stolen from other authors. I distinctly remember reading an article a few years ago claiming that there was a little known but very similar story, pre-dating Animal Farm, written in another language (sorry details a bit sketchy there!). And it is a fact that Orwell had read the book 'We' by the Russian author Yevgeny Zamyatin, when he was younger, and had always wanted to write something like it - I'm just reading it now, and it is very similar! (I think it's written better as well!). I just think it a shame that Orwell has all the credit for these amazing ideas, when they weren't really his...


Original Orwell?

Post 2

Casanova the Short

The fact still remains that the books were written by him and that they were written WELL by him, whether or not he came up with the idea. To be completely fair Marx was the guy who started it all anyway, he wrote one good book then left everyone else to clear up the mess.

smiley - winkeye


Original Orwell?

Post 3

Strangefish

Yeah, that Marx guy has a lot of explaining to do (and W. Morris and T. More!) - hell, where does it end? smiley - huh


Original Orwell?

Post 4

Researcher 183605

while people read his and other great books, the debates will rage on for years that no book(except biogrphies etc )are orignal. everything that has been written has probably been said a hundred times, or written a few times in different languages, or with slight differences to the plot, characters etc.
what is important is that even if orwell didn't write the original, it is his version that people have read and will continue to read for millenia until someone writes a slightly different and slightly better( or at least more modern) version that the children of our children will discover with the same innocence in their hearts that we all once had.


Original Orwell?

Post 5

Casanova the Short

Biographies aren't original; someone's had a life, then lacks imagination when they come to write a book so they recycle their previous experiences. smiley - winkeye

Anyway there already IS a better book than 1984 on the same subject: Brave New World / Aldous Huxley. (IMHO smiley - tongueout)


Original Orwell?

Post 6

Lear (the Unready)

To paraphrase T S Eliot (no stranger to plagiarism himself)... mature writers do more than merely borrow - they steal!


Original Orwell?

Post 7

Strangefish

Brave New World is an amazing book (and I don't know where his influences came from smiley - winkeye !) and Huxley is an amazing writer. If I had to suggest one Science Fiction book (that sounds a limited description!) it would definately be this one - considering it is nearly 70 years old it's relevence to today is astonishing!!!


Original Orwell?

Post 8

Casanova the Short

An a (n almost) similar theme, I just watched A Clockwork Orange and thought it was one of the best films I've ever seen. Don't worry I'm not just pandering to Kubrick - I also saw 2001:A Space Oddyssey(?sp) and thought it was a pile of fetid dingos' kidneys - it was even worse than FrankenHooker.

But anyway, Clockwork Orange good, 2001 baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad.


Original Orwell?

Post 9

Casanova the Short

I worked out what it is - Odyssey innit? Only one d.


Original Orwell?

Post 10

Aunty Lindsay



Orwell may well have nicked his stories - it's such an old trick that Shakespeare himself is guilty!

Oh yes - the Bard got his best plot lines from Ovid, re-wrote slightly with much better characters and jokes, and, bish bosh, most famous playwright in history!

Aunty


Original Orwell?

Post 11

Casanova the Short

Are you talking about the same Shakespeare who wrote the highly original Julius Caesar? And who came up with the highly novel "boy meets girl" plot in his seminal "Romeo and Juliet: The Book of the Film"???

Surely not!!!

And the Bible's all second-hand too.


Original Orwell?

Post 12

Casanova the Short

Are you talking about the same Shakespeare who wrote the highly original Julius Caesar? And who came up with the highly novel "boy meets girl" plot in his seminal "Romeo and Juliet: The Book of the Film"???

Surely not!!!

And the Bible's all second-hand too.


Original Orwell?

Post 13

Allende, keeper of the luck virus.

All writers, (good and bad) need to find their inspiration from somewhere.
The facts are simple and clear, Yes, orwell may have borrowed ideas from others. but he ALONE wrote (at least) 2 of the most discussed novels of the last century. Is anybody talking of the works that he was inspired by? Exactly, the truth is that Orwell brought a unique perspectve to older ideas, and turned them into inspirational tales, that would be talked about for years to come. Many books are written, few are remembered.


Original Orwell?

Post 14

The Independent Customer who has the whole world at his feet, yet decides not to kick it

The discussion on his originality apart, an avid reader of Orwell can see the moulding of a personality by following his works chronologically. His first novel was 'Burmese Days', a loose semi-fictional account of his youthhood in Burma. Here, we unveil Orwell, the optimistic young blood. The novel is about the effect of colonialism and the intermingling of the three races - native Burmese, Indians and the English in the psyche of a nation. He goes on to imply in the novel that nobody can be subdued without a conscious or sub-conscious will on the part of the victim's own self to be subjugated. In effect, he says the idea of freedom is a question of introspection of oneself and can be found nowhere else. One cannot be confined to anything without his subconscious consent. Now, after writing this novel, Orwell went to Spain to fight for the civil war and became (famously) disillusioned. This transformed him so dramatically.

Contrast 'Burmese days' with 1984...! Here we see the author reduced to a depressed pessimist. the novel ends by saying, no matter what an individual tries to do, the society and the ruling polity can crush him in no time. The will of the individual is no match for the power of the subjugator.

So, originality of his writing may be a question mark, but I believe nobody can question the power life wields on the transformation of an individual to change his beliefs so dramatically. This cannot be plagiarised. (one can easily see through it.) So, in this aspect, I believe Orwell remains a mirror of our times, a honest proclaimer of the changing ethos. Can anybody question this?


Original Orwell?

Post 15

Allende, keeper of the luck virus.

I cannot, as I agree totally with you, however more than that, Orwells change in mindset also concurred with experiences in his own life, which were shaping his opinions for him, Consider Down and out in paris and London, and his own first hand experiences of poverty and oppression.I am struck by his honesty and uncomplaining nature. Do you think that living in that way influenced this change in him? I agree that 1984 1s a very despairing read, a world where you can trust no one and eventually you are even betrayed by your own mind in room 101, scary, but very brilliant.


Original Orwell?

Post 16

GAIA

gerge orwell is wierd, I tried to read 1984 but I dident understand it. I think that he was rubbish it was very unbelievable and sexist why does eveeryne like him?


Original Orwell?

Post 17

Casanova the Short

I didn't think it was particularly sexist, given the times and culture that Orwell himself grew up in. However his point was to try and parody existing governments and point out their flaws, biggest of which he considered to be restriction of free will. So any prejudices in his novels are put there to make you think "hey, that's wrong". Which in your case, it did smiley - smiley

CtS


Original Orwell?

Post 18

Researcher 194251

The World by nature is an ever changing place, and we, as humans, have given this process a name. Evolution. There is nothing in our intellectual existance that didn't have origins of some kind, an earlier structure which has been modified (not improved or bettered)but modified to suit a particular circumstance and level of intellect. Every product must have it's origins in thought, there is no other way. Bringing these thoughts to paper is not origional at all. Each person "sees" a different version of every book, this is the beauty of the written word and we should enjoy them all, not degrade one writer for having been inspired by another. After all, where would rock and roll be without the blues!! Did you ever hear Rolf Harris' version of Stairway. This is the 21st century. Recycle to evolve.


Original Orwell?

Post 19

Casanova the Short

It was nowhere near as scary as his version of Bohemian Rhapsody. Hell, I even used to own a Stylophone!
smiley - yawn


Original Orwell?

Post 20

syme42

Are you sure about that? I thought the writing in Brave New World was lousy and the situation improbable.


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