Skipped An Examination of Gulliver's Travels as I have not read that book and can't appreciate what he is talking about. The essay on Charles Dickens is a first-rate dissertation on that topic and I feel dazzled in thinking how much time had to be spent on reading all Dickens's works before making such a comprehensive analysis. I will never start a PhD course until I am confident that I can write something at that level.
I also like Such, Such were the Joys, which is about Orwell's schooldays and far from being joyous. It is relieved to know that even a talented boy like him suffered a lot of humiliations for being a incredulous child.
Here are some thoughts I jotted down from this book:
Early in life I had noticed that no event is ever correctly reported in a newspaper, but in Spain, for the first time, I saw newspaper reports which did not bear any relation to the facts, not even the relationship which is implied in an ordinary lie.
One wants to live, of course, indeed one only stays alive by virtue of the fear of death, but I think now, as I thought then, that it’s better to die violently and not too old.
It will have been seen that my own main trouble was an utter lack of any sense of proportion or probability. This led me to accept outrages and believe absurdities, and to suffer torments over things which were in fact of no importance....Continua