The Prevention of Literature

George Orwell

Paperback

48pp

ISBN: 9781913724313

£5.00

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George Orwell set out ‘to make political writing into an art’, and to a wide extent this aim shaped the future of English literature – his descriptions of authoritarian regimes helped to form a new vocabulary that is fundamental to understanding totalitarianism. While 1984 and Animal Farm are amongst the most popular classic novels in the English language, this new series of Orwell’s essays seeks to bring a wider selection of his writing on politics and literature to a new readership.

In The Prevention of Literature, the third in the Orwell’s Essays series, Orwell considers the freedom of thought and expression. He discusses the effect of the ownership of the press on the accuracy of reports of events, and takes aim at political language, which ‘consists almost entirely of prefabricated phrases bolted together.’ The Prevention of Literature is a stirring cry for freedom from censorship, which Orwell says must start with the writer themselves: ‘To write in plain vigorous language one has to think fearlessly.’

 
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George Orwell

Born Eric Arthur Blair (1903–1950), George Orwell was an English journalist, writer and critic, best remembered today for his innumerable essays, his novels – in particular Animal Farm and 1984 – and his longer non-fiction works.