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George Orwell

Even though it’s 2008, we might as well be living in 1984 - the novel, not the year. 

What better way to acknowledge that fact than to honor the author who brought us such a prescient novel.  The “beeb” (BBC) has posted recordings of Eric Blair’s adopted son, Richard, reading from his father’s diaries which begin in 1938 and span the period of Europe’s descent into war and Orwell's travels in Morocco.  

You can listen to Richard Blair reading brief entries here and here.

And The Orwell Prize is doing something brilliant to mark the 70th anniversary of the diaries.  They’ll be producing them as a blog starting August 9th, seventy years to the day when Orwell began writing them.  They’ll publish each entry as a daily post to the blog to coincide exactly with the day 70 years earlier when Blair wrote it.  You’ll read about his recovery from the Spanish Civil War, his eventual move back to England, and learn what he saw and was thinking as Europe slid downward into the abyss that is war.  

Listen to a five minute introduction featuring Richard Blair here, then bookmark the blog for August 9th.

An interesting exercise would be to read (or re-read) Homage to Catalonia, which covers the period just before the diary begins.