The Art of Tetman Callis

Some of the stories and poems may be inappropriate for persons under 16

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Entries Tagged as 'George Orwell'

The writer’s bicameral mind

May 12th, 2019 · No Comments

“To suggest that a creative writer, in a time of conflict, must split his life into two compartments, may seem defeatist or frivolous: yet in practice I do not see what else he can do. To lock yourself up in an ivory tower is impossible and undesirable. To yield subjectively, not merely to a party […]

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And then there you have it

May 11th, 2019 · No Comments

“Group loyalties are necessary, and yet they are poisonous to literature, so long as literature is the product of individuals. As soon as they are allowed to have any influence, even a negative one, on creative writing, the result is not only falsification, but often the actual drying-up of the inventive faculties.” – George Orwell, […]

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Or excising it for good

May 10th, 2019 · No Comments

“A modern literary intellectual lives and writes in constant dread—not, indeed, of public opinion in the wider sense, but of public opinion within his own group. As a rule, luckily, there is more than one group, but also at any given moment there is a dominant orthodoxy, to offend against which needs a thick skin […]

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A very practical matter

May 9th, 2019 · No Comments

“When you are on a sinking ship. your thoughts will be about sinking ships.” – George Orwell, “Writers and Leviathan”

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Just the facts, man

May 8th, 2019 · No Comments

“Whoever writes about his childhood must beware of exaggeration and self-pity.” – George Orwell, “Such, Such Were the Joys”

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Discipline and punish

May 7th, 2019 · No Comments

“There are families in which the father will say to his child, ‘You’ll get a thick ear if you do that again’, while the mother, her eyes brimming over with tears, will take the child in her arms and murmur lovingly, ‘Now, darling, is it kind to Mummy to do that?’ And who would maintain […]

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Life sux an’ then ya die

May 6th, 2019 · No Comments

“Most people get a fair amount of fun out of their lives, but on balance life is suffering, and only the very young or the very foolish imagine otherwise. Ultimately it is the Christian attitude which is self-interested and hedonistic, since the aim is always to get away from the painful struggle of earthly life […]

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Mixes of motives

May 5th, 2019 · No Comments

“If you live for others, you must live for others, and not as a roundabout way of getting an advantage for yourself.” – George Orwell, “Lear, Tolstoy, and the Fool” (emphasis in original)

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Washed in the blood

May 4th, 2019 · No Comments

“The illusion of having been reborn may allow one’s native vices to flourish more freely than ever, though perhaps in subtler forms.” – George Orwell, “Lear, Tolstoy, and the Fool”

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Pretty much all of life

May 3rd, 2019 · No Comments

“It is doubtful whether the sense of tragedy is compatible with belief in God: at any rate, it is not compatible with disbelief in human dignity and with the kind of ‘moral demand’ which feels cheated when virtue fails to triumph. A tragic situation exists precisely when virtue does not triumph but when it is […]

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The glass can shatter, though

May 2nd, 2019 · No Comments

“All writers are vain, selfish, and lazy, and at the very bottom of their motives there lies a mystery. 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 […]

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And, why not

May 1st, 2019 · No Comments

“I do not think one can assess a writer’s motives without knowing something of his early development. His subject matter will be determined by the age he lives in—at least this is true in tumultuous, revolutionary ages like our own—but before he ever begins to write he will have acquired an emotional attitude from which […]

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Ghosts in a machine, aging

April 30th, 2019 · No Comments

“Certain themes cannot be celebrated in words, and tyranny is one of them. No one ever wrote a good book in praise of the Inquisition. Poetry might survive in a totalitarian age, and certain arts or half-arts, such as architecture, might even find tyranny beneficial, but the prose writer would have no choice between silence […]

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Tags: George Orwell · Lit & Crit · Politics & Law

The party system

April 29th, 2019 · No Comments

“A society becomes totalitarian when its structure becomes flagrantly artificial: that is, when its ruling class has lost its function but succeeds in clinging to power by force or fraud. Such a society, no matter how long it persists, can never afford to become either tolerant or intellectually stable. It can never permit either the […]

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Better get used to it

April 28th, 2019 · No Comments

“To write in plain, vigorous language one has to think fearlessly, and if one thinks fearlessly one cannot be politically orthodox.” – George Orwell, “The Prevention of Literature”

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White House jobs await

April 27th, 2019 · No Comments

“Above a quite low level, literature is an attempt to influence the viewpoint of one’s contemporaries by recording experience. And so far as freedom of expression is concerned, there is not much difference between a mere journalist and the most “unpolitical” imaginative writer. The journalist is unfree, and is conscious of unfreedom, when he is […]

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Well that’s just your opinion

April 26th, 2019 · No Comments

“From the totalitarian point of view history is something to be created rather than learned. A totalitarian state is in effect a theocracy, and its ruling caste, in order to keep its position, has to be thought of as infallible. But since, in practice, no one is infallible, it is frequently necessary to rearrange past […]

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A round of sado-maso on the house, barkeep

April 25th, 2019 · No Comments

“Part of our minds—in any normal person it is the dominant part—believes that man is a noble animal and life is worth living: but there is also a sort of inner self which at least intermittently stands aghast at the horror of existence. In the queerest way, pleasure and disgust are linked together. The human […]

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But Wendy is always the lovely one

April 24th, 2019 · No Comments

“If one is capable of intellectual detachment, one can perceive merit in a writer whom one deeply disagrees with, but enjoyment is a different matter. Supposing that there is such a thing as good or bad art, then the goodness or badness must reside in the work of art itself—not independently of the observer, indeed, […]

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The thing, to the thing

April 23rd, 2019 · No Comments

“What is above all needed is to let the meaning choose the word, and not the other way about. In prose, the worst thing one can do with words is to surrender them. When you think of a concrete object, you think wordlessly, and then, if you want to describe the thing you have been […]

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Not unlike

April 22nd, 2019 · No Comments

“One can cure oneself of the not ‘un-’ formation by memorizing this sentence: A not unblack dog was chasing a not unsmall rabbit across a not ungreen field.” – George Orwell, “Politics and the English Language” (emphasis in original)

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The seventh question is why bother in the first place

April 21st, 2019 · No Comments

“A scrupulous writer, in every sentence that he writes, will ask himself at least four questions, thus: What am I trying to say? What words will express it? What image or idiom will make it clearer? Is this image fresh enough to have an effect? And he will probably ask himself two more: Could I […]

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Who’ll stand the next round

April 20th, 2019 · No Comments

“Much of what goes by the name of pleasure is simply an effort to destroy consciousness. If one started by asking, what is man? what are his needs? how can he best express himself? one would discover that merely having the power to avoid work and live one’s life from birth to death in electric […]

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And others would have been just another con-man

April 19th, 2019 · No Comments

“It is difficult to think of any politician who has lived to be eighty and still been regarded as a success. What we call a ‘great’ statesman normally means one who dies before his policy has had time to take effect. If Cromwell had lived a few years longer he would probably have fallen from […]

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In many respects, the same as the others

April 18th, 2019 · No Comments

“ ‘Natural’ death, almost by definition, means something slow, smelly and painful.” – George Orwell, “How the Poor Die”

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The remainders

April 17th, 2019 · No Comments

“Until one has some kind of professional relationship with books one does not discover how bad the majority of them are.” – George Orwell, “Confessions of a Book Reviewer”

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Penance for your sins

April 16th, 2019 · No Comments

“The planting of a tree, especially one of the long-living hardwood trees, is a gift which you can make to posterity at almost no cost and with almost no trouble, and if the tree takes root it will far outlive the visible effect of any of your other actions, good or evil.” – George Orwell, […]

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Fire up your fighter jet

April 15th, 2019 · No Comments

“The great age of democracy and of national self-determination was the age of the musket and the rifle. After the invention of the flintlock, and before the invention of the percussion cap, the musket was a fairly efficient weapon, and at the same time so simple that it could be produced almost anywhere. Its combination […]

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Which, most often, they turn against themselves

April 14th, 2019 · No Comments

“It is a commonplace that the history of civilisation is largely the history of weapons. In particular, the connection between the discovery of gunpowder and the overthrow of feudalism by the bourgeoisie has been pointed out over and over again. And though I have no doubt exceptions can be brought forward, I think the following […]

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Bidness is bidness

April 13th, 2019 · No Comments

“Chiefly in England and the United States, games were built up into a heavily-financed activity, capable of attracting vast crowds and rousing savage passions, and the infection spread from country to country. It is the most violently combative sports, football and boxing, that have spread the widest. There cannot be much doubt that the whole […]

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Tags: George Orwell · Lit & Crit