Orwell and Gissing

Orwell and Gissing

by Mark Connelly
     
 

Three generations of critics have commented on the parallels between George Orwell and his favorite novelist, George Gissing. «I am a great fan of his,» Orwell wrote in 1948, proclaiming «that England has produced very few better novelists.» This in-depth study reveals that Orwell drew heavily on the Gissing novels he admired in shaping his

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Overview

Three generations of critics have commented on the parallels between George Orwell and his favorite novelist, George Gissing. «I am a great fan of his,» Orwell wrote in 1948, proclaiming «that England has produced very few better novelists.» This in-depth study reveals that Orwell drew heavily on the Gissing novels he admired in shaping his own. Gissing's New Grub Street and The Odd Women directly influenced Orwell's Depression-era novels Keep the Aspidstra Flying and A Clergyman's Daughter. Even Orwell's most imaginative work, Animal Farm, mirrors Gissing's own novel of a failed Socialist Utopia, Demos. Gissing was Orwell's role model and alter ego. Gissing provided him with a touchstone to his beliefs, his pessimism, his love of Dickens and cozy corners, his suspicion of «progress,» his restless sexuality. To understand Orwell fully, one must first read Gissing.

Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Explores the considerable influence of novelist George Gissing (1857- 1903) on compatriot British writer George Orwell (1903-50). Finds antecedents for "Keep the Aspidstra Flying" and "A Clergyman's Daughter" in "New Grub Street" and "The Odd Woman", for "Animal Farm" in "Demos"; and other pairs. Also points out their common love of Dickens. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780820433301
Publisher:
Lang, Peter Publishing, Incorporated
Publication date:
10/01/1997
Series:
American University Studies Series: Series 4: English Language and Literature, #185
Pages:
126

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