He has appeared on this blog many times but he has been with me ever since my father translated "Animal Farm" into Marathi "...Aani Kranticha Mudada Padala" (...आणि क्रांतीचा मुडदा पडला) - "...And the revolution's corpse fell"- around 1970.
We read it as a kids' book. We did not know where USSR was. We did not know what revolution was. We did not know who Lenin, Stalin and Trotsky were.
But we read the book many times. We imagined all those animals using our little imaginations. And we cried for Boxer. The way we cried for "Shyamchi Aai" (श्यामची आई).
Since then I have read most of Orwell in English but not 'Animal Farm'. My father's translation is still good enough for me.
There is tons of pro and anti-Orwell material on internet but I liked best what Barry Gewen said recently about him:
"...Orwell was against abstractions of every kind: fascism, Communism, especially nationalism; “Americanism,” he once said, was a term that could easily be used for totalitarian ends. His socialism was pragmatic, anti-utopian, perhaps little more than an expression of his hope that the conditions of the poor and the powerless could be improved...He was a friend of the common man who also had an appreciation of James Joyce. He was a socialist with little hope for real change unless decency could somehow prevail..."
Will decency somehow prevail?
New cover of the book
courtesy: Penguin Books, penguin.co.uk. typeasimage.com.
"The deep foreboding red of the Animal Farm cover evokes the political charge of Orwell's allegorical novel of 1945 – the type treatment managing to look jauntily cinematic and cartoon-like, and wholly unnerving at the same time."
Old cover of the book
courtesy: History Today