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George Orwell

1903-1950 ,  British writer
George OrwellEnglish novelist, essayist, and critic famous for his novels Animal Farm< (1945) and 1984 (1949), the latter a profound anti-utopian novel that examines the dangers of totalitarian rule.

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Some ideas are so stupid that only intellectuals believe them.

A dirty joke is a sort of mental rebellion.

A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves and traitors are not victims... but accomplices.

All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.

As I write, highly civilized human beings are flying overhead, trying to kill me.

At 50, everyone has the face he deserves.

At any given moment there is an orthodoxy, a body of ideas which it is assumed that all right-thinking people will accept without question.

Autobiography is only to be trusted when it reveals something disgraceful. A man who gives a good account of himself is probably lying, since any life when viewed from the inside is simply a series of defeats.

Big Brother is Watching You.

Each generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it.

England is perhaps the only great country whose intellectuals are ashamed of their own nationality.

Every war when it comes, or before it comes, is represented not as a war but as an act of self-defense against a homicidal maniac.

He had reached the age when the future ceases to be a rosy blur and becomes actual and menacing.

He was an embittered atheist (the sort of atheist who does not so much disbelieve in God as personally dislike Him), and took a sort of pleasure in thinking that human affairs would never improve.

He wears a mask, and his face grows to fit it.

If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.

If you kept the small rules, you could break the big ones.

If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face, for ever.

In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.

It is the same in all wars; the soldiers do the fighting, the journalists do the shouting, and no true patriot ever gets near a front-line trench, except on the briefest of propaganda-tours.

from “Homage to Catalonia”, 1938

It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.

first phrase of “1984”

Looking at the world as a whole, the drift for many decades has been not towards anarchy but towards the reimposition of slavery.

Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print. Never use a long word where a short one will do.

One always abandons something in retreat. Look at Napoleon at the Beresina! He abandoned his whole army.

One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship.

People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome.

Power is not a means; it is an end.

Reality exists in the human mind, and nowhere else.

Serious sport has nothing to do with fair play. It is bound up with hatred, jealousy, boastfulness, disregard of all rules and sadistic pleasure in witnessing violence: in other words it is war minus the shooting.

The most bitter insult one can offer to a Londoner is “bastard”, which, taken for what it means, is hardly an insult at all.

The quickest way of ending a war is to lose it.

We are in a strange period of history in which a revolutionary has to be a patriot and a patriot has to be a revolutionary.

letter to “The Tribune” , 20 December 1940

Within certain limits, it is actually true that the less money you have, the less you worry.

Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.


Similar sources

 Oscar Wilde

 G. K. Chesterton

 Somerset Maugham

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2017: Manolis Papathanassiou