Tuesday, August 5

Not to go into random blogging mode, but this guy writes a good journal which also seems worth reading.

I figured out a while ago that what makes for a good journal or diary, or even correspondence, doesn't necessarily make for the kind of thing other people will get much out of. Sometimes I think useful private writing is exactly the opposite of good public writing.

Of course that doesn't always hold true. Some of the best things I've ever found in literature are journals and letters. The character of really honest private poetry seems to be such that it's worth reading no matter how subjective.

eric arthur blair

Brent writes again, on The Lion and the Unicorn: Socialism and the English Genius, or at least the bit I quoted. I hadn't read the rest of the essay when I did a copy-and-paste; Brent's entry leads me to assume that he hasn't either.

Given that rather context-free paragraph, I haven't any major bones to pick with Brent's perspective, but it's important to understand that the Orwell piece was a political pamphlet written in 1941, during the Blitz, at a time when British defeat was a frightening possibility. We know that Hitler's brand of fascism failed; in 1941 such assurances were harder to find. It could not have been difficult to see successful warmaking as a straightforward measure of a political and economic system's real power.