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George Orwell and the Classics
journal contributionposted on 2023-05-25, 23:08 authored by Burton, P
Classically trained at St. Cyprian's and Eton, George Orwell was deeply immersed in the classical tradition. His intellectual relationship to that tradition, however, was never easy or comfortable. It is, in fact, one of the few unresolved paradoxes of Orwell's intellectual life that he both disparaged classics as a snobbish and useless relic of a more benighted age but could never quite free himself from its allure. The ambivalence is striking since, of the intellectuals of his generation, Orwell was unsurpassed in his capacity for self-criticism: as a writer " it has recently been said "Orwell was forever taking his own temperature""! But as several documents only recently made available attest " Orwell remained ambivalent about his classical heritage even on his deathbed."
Publication titleClassical and Modern Literature