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Burma and Orwell - Emma Larkin interweaves them well
on January 17, 2016
I've been a frequent visitor to Myanmar for the past 5 years, and have watched with interest its transition from the country Emma Larkin has described to one that is now catching up with the region around it. It's a beautiful and fascinating place. I also finally got around to reading Orwell's Burmese Days, and I can understand Ms Larkin's effective approach of interweaving this view of a world long gone, but not very pleasant when it existed, with Orwell's other two almost written for Burma-as-was books - 1984 and Animal Farm. She also relates Orwell to specific places in Myanmar, many of which I've visited, or will visit now that I know the Orwell connection. While her characters, the people she interviews, are almost all opposed to the military government, this probably reflects several facts that would have been relevant when she wrote the book: most of the population probably opposed the government at the time (as the recent elections seem to have confirmed), she was working more or less incognito, although apparently followed at almost every step by the Military Intelligence agencies, and the government did not interact with authors or journalists.