Thursday, January 20, 2011

What George Orwell Says

I'm reading a great little book in the Penguin Books Great Ideas Series called Why I Write by George Orwell. I highly recommend it. Here are some Thursday words of wisdom for you about writing from George:
"Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand. For all one knows that demon is simply the same instinct that makes a baby squall for attention. And yet it is also true that one can write nothing readable unless one constantly struggles to efface one's own personality. Good prose is like a window pane." 
Amen to that, bro.

1 comment:

bookfraud said...

Orwell is a hero of mine, and his writing on writing is some of my favorite. He is not an intellectual, and (usually) doesn't try to be one, which grounds his prose in the real--I don't think anyone thought as much about writing and language as Orwell then made it as tangible as he did.

Also, check out "Politics and the English Language" if you haven't already. It's an amazing work, even 60-odd years after it was written.