Wednesday, 17 August 2022

A GLANCE AT A BOOK BY GEORGE ORWELL

 




 ‘All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.’

Animal Farm by George Orwell, first published #OnThisDay in 1945 states a today's tweet by Penguin Books UK

I thought to write  a blogpost on this  and what more can be a fitting tribute than to read and write about a book on the day of its publication.  It is well known that ANIMAL FARM is a novella written by Eric Arthur Blair  with his pen name George Orwell in 1943 when he started a new work and it turned out be   Animal Farm. By April 1944 Animal Farm was ready for publication. Gollancz refused to publish it, considering it an attack on the Soviet regime which was a crucial ally in the war. A similar fate was met from other publishers  until Jonathan Cape agreed to take it later Cape also rejected confirms an authentic  source. Finally Secker & Warburg had agreed to publish ANIMAL FARM, planned for the following March, although it did not appear in print until August 1945. That's how the book got published on this day after so many rejections.

 Eric Arthur Blair was born in Motihari, Bihar in the then British India . The bungalow was made into a museum and opened for public in May 2015.  His work which took a long time to see the light of the day was later made  a part of the school literature curriculum in UK.  A poll conducted in the UK in 2016 saw Animal Farm ranked the nation's favourite book from school.

  George Orwell himself described his work ANIMAL FARM as a satirical tale against Stalin  and it was the first book in which he tried, with full consciousness of what he was doing, " to fuse political purpose and artistic purpose into one whole ."


Pigs, humans, equines and other animals form the characters of the novel. This work was adapted in films, radio, stage productions and as comic strips too. The reach was far and wide. One more interesting information about the book's fiftieth anniversary is that In October 1945, Orwell wrote to Frederic Warburg expressing interest in pursuing the possibility that the political cartoonist  David Low might illustrate Animal Farm. Low had written a letter saying that he had had "a good time with Animal Farm – an excellent bit of satire – it would illustrate perfectly". Nothing came of this, and a trial issue produced by Secker & Warburg in 1956 illustrated by John Driver was abandoned, but the Folio Society published an edition in 1984 illustrated by Quentin Blake and an edition illustrated by the cartoonist Ralph Steadman was published by Secker & Warburg in 1995 to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the first edition of the Animal Farm.

An enhanced version of the book, launched in India in 2017, was widely praised for capturing the author's intent, by republishing the proposed preface of the First Edition and the preface he wrote for the Ukrainian edition.

Though the book faced challenges at the time of publication with not so welcoming reviews it gained momentum at later date and continued to be read even after decades. There rest the power of the content.

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