Episode 16: “Why I Write” by George Orwell
The topic of today’s discussion on The Literary Life is George Orwell’s essay “Why I Write.” Angelina and Cindy kick off the conversation about how much they each identify with Orwell’s description of his childhood. In his story of learning to write, we see many aspects of a good education, even his inclination to imitate other authors. An important point Angelina brings up is Orwell’s own struggle against the calling he felt to write, in contrast to having an ambition to do so. Angelina brings up a related story about musician Gregory Alan Isakov, and Cindy reiterates the idea of why we need leisure in order to find our vocation.
Cindy and Angelina also bring out some of the qualities Orwell possessed that make a good writer. Maturity as a human being and as a master of a craft are crucial to certain forms of writing, as Orwell points out about his own work. Other topics of conversation include truth-telling in writing, the motives for writing according to Orwell, and the growing process of writers.
Listen to The Literary Life:
Summer of the Short Story:
Ep 17: “The Celestial Omnibus” by E. M. Forster
Ep 18: “Vulture on War” by Samuel Johnson
Live Bonus Episode on Patreon: “A Good Man is Hard to Find” by Flanner O’Connor on August 22, 2019
August 26-29: Back to School Webinar with Cindy Rollins, Angelina Stanford, Thomas Banks and Adrienne Freas
September 22: How to Love Poetry Webinar with Thomas Banks
Veni, Creator Spiritus
by John Dryden
Creator Spirit, by whose aid
The world’s foundations first were laid,
Come, visit ev’ry pious mind;
Come, pour thy joys on human kind;
From sin, and sorrow set us free;
And make thy temples worthy Thee.
O, Source of uncreated Light,
The Father’s promis’d Paraclete!
Thrice Holy Fount, thrice Holy Fire,
Our hearts with heav’nly love inspire;
Come, and thy Sacred Unction bring
To sanctify us, while we sing!
Plenteous of grace, descend from high,
Rich in thy sev’n-fold energy!
Thou strength of his Almighty Hand,
Whose pow’r does heav’n and earth command:
Proceeding Spirit, our Defence,
Who do’st the gift of tongues dispence,
And crown’st thy gift with eloquence!
Refine and purge our earthly parts;
But, oh, inflame and fire our hearts!
Our frailties help, our vice control;
Submit the senses to the soul;
And when rebellious they are grown,
Then, lay thy hand, and hold ’em down.
Chase from our minds th’ Infernal Foe;
And peace, the fruit of love, bestow;
And, lest our feet should step astray,
Protect, and guide us in the way.
Make us Eternal Truths receive,
And practise, all that we believe:
Give us thy self, that we may see
The Father and the Son, by thee.
Immortal honour, endless fame,
Attend th’ Almighty Father’s name:
The Saviour Son be glorified,
Who for lost Man’s redemption died:
And equal adoration be,
Eternal Paraclete, to thee.
Kristen Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset
Animal Farm by George Orwell
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