- Taschenbuch: 224 Seiten
- Verlag: Mariner Books; Auflage: 1 (15. März 1972)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 015626224X
- ISBN-13: 978-0156262248
- Vom Hersteller empfohlenes Alter: Ab 14 Jahren
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 13,5 x 1,3 x 20,3 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 29 Kundenrezensionen
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 409.734 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
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Down and Out in Paris and London (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 15. März 1972
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What was a nice Eton boy like Eric Blair doing in scummy slums instead of being upwardly mobile at Oxford or Cambridge? Living Down and Out in Paris and London, repudiating respectable imperialist society, and reinventing himself as George Orwell. His 1933 debut book (ostensibly a novel, but overwhelmingly autobiographical) was rejected by that elitist publisher T.S. Eliot, perhaps because its close-up portrait of lowlife was too pungent for comfort.
In Paris, Orwell lived in verminous rooms and washed dishes at the overpriced "Hotel X," in a remarkably filthy, 110-degree kitchen. He met "eccentric people--people who have fallen into solitary, half-mad grooves of life and given up trying to be normal or decent." Though Orwell's tone is that of an outraged reformer, it's surprising how entertaining many of his adventures are: gnawing poverty only enlivens the imagination, and the wild characters he met often swindled each other and themselves. The wackiest tale involves a miser who ate cats, wore newspapers for underwear, invested 6,000 francs in cocaine, and hid it in a face-powder tin when the cops raided. They had to free him, because the apparently controlled substance turned out to be face powder instead of cocaine.
In London, Orwell studied begging with a crippled expert named Bozo, a great storyteller and philosopher. Orwell devotes a chapter to the fine points of London guttersnipe slang. Years later, he would put his lexical bent to work by inventing Newspeak, and draw on his down-and-out experience to evoke the plight of the Proles in 1984. Though marred by hints of unexamined anti-Semitism, Orwell's debut remains, as The Nation put it, "the most lucid portrait of poverty in the English language." --Tim Appelo
The white-hot reaction of a sensitive, observant, compassionate young man to poverty (Dervla Murphy)
Orwell was the great moral force of his age (Spectator) -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.
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The first part of the book takes deep into old Paris as moneyless plongeur at a bad hotel.
The second part takes you through London as a homeless person, figuring out where to sleep and how to find some food.
Both topics didn't really interest me before but Orwell depicts them so well that it is utterly enriching to accompany him on his journeys.
Naturally, working down in the airless depths of a hotel meant meeting many odd bods that were otherwise out of Orwell's orbit and this is part of the delight of this excursion into the subterranean world of the servant classes. The book was written in the 30s, at a time when European society was about to undergo the transformations caused by its second bloodletting in three decades. Orwell takes us back to a period when men sweated freely at their work, in almost impossible conditions, and considered themselves to be among those who were better off! It makes one wonder today that road gangs (the workers were called "navvies" in Britain) used to do all the work by hand, which is now done by enormous machines with a little group of workers standing around looking, waiting to tidy up. Backbreaking work is a thing of the past for most of us, but it lingers on in the memory of our grandfathers and comes to life in Orwell's fine text about a forgotten lifestyle of yesteryear.
His further excursion into the shelters for the homeless in England is also of interest. There was a way of life, of people always on the move, occasionally finding seasonal work, (represented by the hobo in America and the swaggy in Australia), which was well known to many people but was, even then, coming to an end. Interesting portraits of an age from a writer who led a far from sheltered life himself.
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