George Orwell has a blog now. He writes daily from the confines of a sanitarium in Kent, England in 1938. According the the New York Times, a group of English academics have decided to increase Orwell’s relevance to a younger generation by publishing his diaries in blog form exactly 70 years to the day after Orwell wrote them.
The diaries lack 1984‘s dystopian commentary on today’s Patriot Act-enabled government, or the cautionary tales about revolution and absolute power from Animal Farm. Instead, Orwell “blogs” mostly about the weather and the progress of the wheat harvest, with occasional dalliances on the insects, animals and artifacts he encounters on nature walks. In other words, they probably should have made him a LiveJournal.
August 22, 1938:
Cool this morning & raining most of the day. Most of the crops in & stacked. Blackberries in Suffolk much less forward than Kent, otherwise little difference in the vegetation.
When clipping fowls’ wings, clip only one wing, preferably the right (left wing keeps the ovaries warm.)
Cold tea is good fertilizer for geraniums.
Hello, Modern Youth? Are you reading this? Mind your fowls and ovaries, now.
This is George Orwell at his least relevant, but there’s a trip to Africa coming up, and starting next month, the society will begin publishing the political diary that Orwell kept through the first three years of World War II. So keep checking back over the course of the next four years, and maybe there’ll be something cool to see.
While I like the idea of having Orwell’s diaries in publicly-available, digital form, the beauty of the internet is having the information you want at your fingertips. The slow reveal over the next four years will not make Orwell’s writing into a blog, it will give history buffs and Orwell fanatics a “Today in the Mind of George Orwell” news feed.
For those people, great. Call me when he uses some hilariously out-of-date racial slurs.