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Orwell the blogger

Does anyone else read George Orwell’s blog? I think it’s a brilliant project from The Orwell Prize. They started posting Orwell’s journal entries on Aug. 9, 2008 … exactly 70 years after he began a domestic journal on Aug. 9, 1938. The blog includes both domestic observations – how many eggs were laid by his chickens- and political ones, set against the build-up to WWII from his vantage point in Morocco.

The project will continue until 2012 (1942), and an entry gets posted for every day he wrote an entry 70 years before.

It’s intriguing on many levels – what new significance does a journal take 70 years later? What insight does it provide?

I’m personally delighted by how often he talks about the wheat, the lavender, the eggs.

Below is his entry from Jan. 14-17, 1939

14-17.1.39 [1]

By orwelldiaries

Four eggs (about 4 of the hens now broody).

Saw a stork standing among the ibises the other day. It is enormous – English heron would look small beside it.
Greenfinch evidently exists here as well as the goldfinch, both as in Europe.

Broad beans grown round here are very good, no black fly at all. It seems tangerines are damaged by frost though ordinary oranges are not.

[1] Orwell mistakenly gave the year as ‘37’ for 14.1.39 and 17.1.39

I love that detail about the year. My hypothesis? When writing about these natural details, it was easier to lose sense of time. His next entry, posted Jan. 27, ’39, involved more political details, and a sense of place. I wonder whether it was harder, for that entry, to forget that it was 1939.

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