Sunday, August 31, 2014

Sunday morning coffee reading: "Why Orwell was a literary mediocrity."

The author does not begrudge Orwell's talents. Rather, he feels "less well-disposed to those mediocrities who slavishly worship at the shrine of St George."

A Point of View: Why Orwell was a literary mediocrity, by Will Self.

... The trouble for the George Orwells of this world is that they don't like the ways in which our tongue is being shaped. In this respect they're indeed small "c" conservatives, who would rather peer at meaning by the guttering candlelight of a Standard English frozen in time, than have it brightly illumined by the high-wattage of the living, changing language.

Orwell and his supporters may say they're objecting to jargon and pretension, but underlying this are good old-fashioned prejudices against difference itself. Only homogenous groups of people all speak and write identically. People from different heritages, ethnicities, classes and regions speak the same language differently, duh!

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