GEORGE ORWELL died in 1950. He had become famous with the publication of Animal Farm in 1945, and much more famous with the publication Nineteen Eighty-Four in 1949. But he was too ill to enjoy his fame, and he died of tuberculosis at the age of 46. Since then, he has grown steadily more and more famous, and after becoming a classic in his own life he has now become a name known by virtually everyone who reads at all. Almost all his books have been continually reprinted, and most of his shorter writings have also been conveniently reprinted in the four-volume Collected Essays, Journalism and Letters. Of all modern writers, in fact, he is one of the easiest to get hold of; he is also one of the easiest to get to grips with, for all his work has a style and structure which are so spare and simple and a personality and purpose which are so peculiar and powerful that introduction and explanation are virtually unnecessary. In a way, then, there is no need to read about Orwell at all, only to read Orwell; but this hasn’t stopped many people writing about him.
ANARCHISM IN ALGERIA
I FOUND NO SPECIFIC EVIDENCE OF NON-EUROPEAN PARTICIPATION in anarchist membership groups (the MLNA or Spanish emigre organizations) in Algeria at the time of the outbreak of the national liberation revolution. As well, given the FLN’s internal purges and hostility toward the rival MNA and Algerian Communists during the war, it is difficult to imagine any Algerian with proclaimed anarchist views surviving determined FLN hegemonic control. Survival would depend on suppressing one’s political identity, as in the example of Frenchman Serge Michel, and demonstrating overall loyalty and dedication to the dictates of the national leadership – as well as avoiding the heavy hand of French repression. The only mention I’ve seen of a non-European Algerian anarchist militant in Algeria for this period is the vague reference by MLNA leader Léandre Valéro to comrade Derbal Salah of the Constantine area in Valero’s brief retrospective account about forty-five years later. (1)