The Orwell Diaries

I recently discovered that Orwell’s diary entries are being posted on a daily basis, exactly 70 years on from their original writing:



“From 9th August 2008, you will be able to gather your own impression of Orwell’s face from reading his most strongly individual piece of writing: his diaries. The Orwell Prize is delighted to announce that, to mark the 70th anniversary of the diaries, each diary entry will be published on this blog exactly seventy years after it was written, allowing you to follow Orwell’s recuperation in Morocco, his return to the UK, and his opinions on the descent of Europe into war in real time. The diaries end in 1942, three years into the conflict.”

What impresses me most is Orwell’s interest in the simple rhythms of nature which surround him – the ripening blackberries, the hops coming into fruition, the horse chestnuts “full-size but not ripe yet”.  I decided to post my own diary entry to George, on this lazy Saturday morning in late August.  Here it is:

Hey George.  Good to hear that your hops are doing well.  We are experiencing a shortage these days, making for pricier beer.  On this day in August cicadas blend with the texture of the midmorning stillness, while on TV the president makes pronouncements about the sovereignty of sovereign nations.  A hurricane is projected to track up through Haiti, Havana, and on through Florida.  It’s still cool and shady indoors, but the heat is building. Behind the heat the shade hangs deeply, with the sun staying lower all day.  Wasps probe the walls and overhangs of our house, looking for a way to make a nest. Olympic coverage oozes from the pores of the television, and the day seems endless.


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