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From a very early age, perhaps the age of five or six, I knew that when I grew up I should be a writer. Between the ages of about seventeen and twenty-four I tried to abandon this idea, but I did so with the consciousness that I was outraging my true nature and that sooner or later I should have to settle down and write books.
I was the middle child of three, but there was a gap of five years on either side, and I barely saw my father before I was eight. For this and other reasons I was somewhat lonely, and I soon developed disagreeable mannerisms which made me unpopular throughout my schooldays. I had the lonely child's habit of making up stories and holding conversations with imaginary persons, and I think from the very start my literary ambitions were mixed up with the feeling of being isolated and undervalued. I knew that I had a facility with words and a power of facing unpleasant facts, and I felt that this created a sort of private world in which I could get my own back for my failure in everyday life. Nevertheless the volume of serious - i.e. seriously intended - writing which I produced all through my childhood and boyhood would not amount to half a dozen pages. I wrote my first poem at the age of four or five, my mother taking it down to dictation.
Everything came as expected, and the book was better than promised.Published 1 month ago by Anthony Keyes
Shame on you Penguin. This is a slim volume that I suspect Orwell himself would have condemned as flagrant money-making. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Stephen Hughes
The part about his growing up and the ending, with advice about how to write was very good. But the large middle section dealt pretty specifically with politics in Britain between... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Keith G. Bernard
Why I Write
by George Orwell
George Orwell ("Animal Farm", "1984") an influential author of the last century wrote for political reasons. Read more
It is unfortunate that most of this slim volume is dominated by a long and very badly dated essay, 'The Lion and the Unicorn' (1940) in which Orwell doesn't even yet know who is... Read morePublished 17 months ago by othoniaboys