June 2013

Why I Write: Membaca Orwell Di Kala Pilihan Raya

Why I Write
George Orwell
Language Arts & Disciplines
Penguin Group USA
2005
119

Throughout history, some books have changed the world. They have transformed the way we see ourselves—and each other. They have inspired debate, dissent, war and revolution. They have enlightened, outraged, provoked and comforted. They have enriched lives—and destroyed them. Now, Penguin brings you the works of the great thinkers, pioneers, radicals and visionaries whose ideas shook civilization, and helped make us who we are. Penguin's Great Ideas series features twelve groundbreaking works by some of history's most prodigious thinkers, and each volume is beautifully packaged with a unique type-drive design that highlights the bookmaker's art. Offering great literature in great packages at great prices, this series is ideal for those readers who want to explore and savor the Great Ideas that have shaped the world. Whether puncturing the lies of politicians, wittily dissecting the English character or telling unpalatable truths about war, Orwell's timeless, uncompromising essays are more relevant, entertaining and essential than ever in today's era of spin.

Tidak sukar mencari tulisan George Orwell, nama pena Eric Arthur Blair. Namun saya tidak upaya menahan ‘godaan’ untuk memiliki beberapa buku dari koleksi Penguin Great Ideas, antara kumpulan esei beliau Why I Write dan Books vs. Cigarettes.

Semacam ironi apabila kulit muka buku ini meletakkan cuplikan esei terakhir dalam kumpulan ini Politics and the English Language. Hal ini sedikit sebanyak memberi gambaran bahawa inti esei yang dimuatkan dalam buku senipis 120 halaman ini  menyentuh hal politik terutamanya empayar Inggeris sekitar Perang Dunia Kedua. Terdapat empat esei disusun kemas dalam kumpulan ini, iaitu:

1.   Why I Write

2.   The Lion and the Unicorn: Socialism and the English Genius

3.   A Hanging

4.   Politics and the English Language

Why I Write dimula dan ditutup dengan raison d’etre seorang George Orwell berkecimpung dalam penulisan politik. Esei pertama bersifat autobiografi, bagaimana beliau tertarik untuk menjadi pengarang dan latar belakangnya yang mempengaruhi corak penulisan.

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