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.
GEORGE ORWELL, écrivain et socialiste, est mort dans un hôpital londonien, le 21 janvier, à l’âge de 46 ans. Né d’une famille de classe moyenne en Inde, il alla à Eton, et plus tard rejoignit les forces de police de Burma. Mais l’honnêteté de l’œil avec lequel il vit le rôle de l’Impérialisme britannique le repoussa — non seulement de la police de Burma, mais aussi de la classe dans laquelle il était né.
Ses livres disent la pauvreté matérielle qui l’accabla, et 1936 le trouva en Espagne, où il fut blessé dans les lignes républicaines.