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The Road from George Orwell: His Achievement and Legacy

Alberto Lazaro

Fifty years after his death, George Orwell is generally recognised as a leading exponent of twentieth-century English prose and one of the most influential satiric writers whose work has continually raised all kinds of political controversies. This volume assembles twelve papers delivered at the VIII Jornadas de Literatura Inglesa at the University of Alcalá in May 2000. The conference set out to re-examine Orwell’s work and thought in the light of contemporary theoretical concerns, as well as to discuss the mark he has left in British literature in the second half of the twentieth century, particularly on political satire and the development of dystopian fiction. A first group of essays provides new insights and fresh ways of viewing familiar issues such as Orwell’s controversial political thought, the representation of race and gender in his early fiction, the narrative strategies of his documentary prose and the impact of Spanish censorship on his writing, particularly on Homage to Catalonia. Other essays explore the legacy of Orwell’s dystopian fiction in later novelists such as Zoë Fairbairns, Alasdair Gray, Robert Harris, Julian Barnes and Ben Elton, as well as issues of history and language that are raised in Orwell’s writings and dominate twentieth-century fiction.
Contents: Fernando Galván: The Road to Utopia, or On Orwell’s Idealism – Christine Berberich: A Revolutionary in Love with the 1900s: Orwell in Defence of ‘old England’ – Miquel Berga: Orwell’s Catalonia Revisited: Textual Strategies and the Eyewitness Account – Alberto Lázaro: George Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia: A Politically Incorrect Story – Ana Moya: George Orwell’s Exploration of Discourses of Power in Burmese Days – Urmila Seshagiri: Misogyny and Anti-Imperialism in George Orwell’s Burmese Days – Zoë Fairbairns: 1984 Came and Went – Beatriz Domínguez García: The Retelling of History Through Her Story – Elizabeth Russell: Looking Backwards and Forwards from Nineteen Eighty-Four: Women Writing Men’s Worlds – Sonia Villegas: ‘History Is Not a Thing of the Past’: The Theory and Practice of Historical Discourse in Alasdair Gray’s A History Maker – Juan Francisco Elices: The Satiric and Dystopic Legacy of George Orwell in Robert Harris’s Fatherland – Ben Clarke: Orwell and the Evolution of Utopian Writing.