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Thread: Homage to Catalonia

  1. #1
    Registered User Boris239's Avatar
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    Mar 2006
    New York

    Homage to Catalonia

    I've just finished reading Orwell's "Homage to Catalonia". It is about Orwell's experiences during the Spanish Civil War. He was a volunteer in the POUM militia and spent about a year in the Aragon front. I'm interested in Spanish histoty and found the book very interesting. Has anybody else read it? How did you like it?

  2. #2
    Orwellian The Atheist's Avatar
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    Mar 2007
    The George Orwell sub-forum
    Hi there, I realise that I'm posting a very long time after the event, but I have indeed read Homage many times.

    Marvellous book. Orwell's knack of being detached from events to write as an observer while a particpant is unique, in my experience. It gives the Spanish Civil War an almost Boy Scout-ish feel - as though it's all a bit of a lark, yet at the same time, he succinctly conveys the horror and squalor of life at the front.

    It's a crying shame that he lost all of his early notes, as that's where most of the action took place and it does make it a little disjointed.

    Hope you try more of his lesser-known books.
    Go to work, get married, have some kids, pay your taxes, pay your bills, watch your tv, follow fashion, act normal, obey the law and repeat after me: "I am free."


  3. #3
    Registered User kelby_lake's Avatar
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    Mar 2008
    I liked it. I like the detatchment of Hemingway's stuff (well, the two I've finished ) but sometimes it can be too detatched. I think Orwell struck the balance right, between detatchment and personal experience.

  4. #4
    Registered User kev67's Avatar
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    Apr 2012
    Reading, England
    I thought it was a superb book. I lent it to a Spanish colleague, and he thought it was great too. George Orwell certainly didn't just walk the walk (not that Orwell approved of clichés).
    According to Aldous Huxley, D.H. Lawrence once said that Balzac was 'a gigantic dwarf', and in a sense the same is true of Dickens.
    Charles Dickens, by George Orwell

  5. #5
    Registered User
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    Mar 2013
    Yes, it maybe Orwell's best and most meaningful book. It definitely gives insight into his later essays and books such as 1984. It's also ripe with amazing passages such as this:

    "One had breathed the air of equality. I am well aware that it is now the fashion to deny that Socialism has anything to do with equality. In every country in the world a huge tribe of party-hacks and sleek little professors are busy 'proving' that Socialism means no more than a planned state-capitalism with the grab-motive left intact. But fortunately there also exists a vision of Socialism quite different from this." George Orwell - Homage to Catalonia page 104.

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