Orwell’s Animal Farm and Nineteen E ighty-Four: Critiques of Stalinism `from the left’? | Links
- Orwell’s Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four: Critiques of Stalinism
`from the left’?
By *Alex Miller*
This essay is the result of a re-reading of George Orwell’s two most
famous novels. Both /Animal Farm/ and /Nineteen Eighty-Four/ have
acquired the status of textbooks, and are routinely used in schools to
demonstrate to children the inherent dangers of social revolution. It is
time for a reappraisal.
The ``Centenary Edition’’ of George Orwell’s /Animal Farm/ contains a
preface written by Orwell for the first edition (Secker and Warburg,
1945) but never published, together with a preface that he wrote
specially for a translation for displaced Ukrainians living under
British and US administration after World War II.
If we are to take Orwell at his word in the first of these prefaces,
/Animal Farm/ is intended as a critique of the Stalinist Soviet regime
``from the left’’. He explicitly dissociates himself from conservative
critiques, which he describes as ``manifestly dishonest, out of date,
and actuated by sordid motives’’.
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