By John Sutherland
Sutherland airs out the odors, fetors, stenches, and reeks trapped within the pages of Orwell’s books. From Winston Smith’s residence in Nineteen Eighty-Four, which “smelt of boiled cabbage and outdated rag mats,” to the tantalizing aromas of concubine Ma Hla May’s hair in Burmese Days, with its “mingled smell of sandalwood, garlic, coconut oil, and jasmine,” Sutherland explores the smell narratives that abound in Orwell’s literary international. alongside the best way, he elucidates questions that experience remained unanswered in prior biographies, addressing gaps that experience saved the author elusively from us. In doing so, Sutherland deals an exciting yet enriching examine some of the most vital writers of the 20th century and, additionally, a completely new and sensuous strategy to procedure literature: nostril first.
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Additional info for Orwell’s Nose: A Pathological Biography
Least of all the woman who had ‘authorized’ Crick.
It is a ‘real’ smell. The stench of honest labour and erect manhood. The other location where socialism smells ‘right’ is the trenches of wartime Spain. ‘I suppose I have failed to convey more than a little of what those months in Spain meant to me,’ says Orwell in the epilogue to Homage to Catalonia: ‘I have recorded some of the outward events, but I cannot record the feeling they have left me with. ’ Orwell’s nose can do more than most, but it cannot put into words what it knows, on the senses, is right, and what is wrong.
For the text that follows I have used, where useful, the four-volume, widely available (Penguin) paperback The Collected Essays, Journalism and Letters of George Orwell (1968), edited by Ian Angus and Sonia Orwell. Its contents are chronological and indexed: dates of composition and first publication are given. Foreword In 1928 D. H. Lawrence, as passionate a defender of the English language as Orwell, made his quixotic attempt to liberate (‘hygienise’) a small lexicon of ‘four letter words’. The UK finally gave way on the point, in November 1960, at the Old Bailey.