18. Love in Nineteen Eighty-Four
Is Nineteen Eighty-Four a love story? In this episode, we consider how love survives, to a degree, while also being twisted into new, disturbing forms in Orwell's imagined future of pain and terror.
5 May 2021
17. Nostalgia, Misogyny, and the Future in Coming Up for Air
George Orwell's 1939 novel, Coming Up for Air, combines a sceptical view of the nostalgic with dread about a looming future of pain and suffering. This episode looks at how these emphases are bound up with the first-person narration of George Bowling, whose disreputability and misogyny makes him a compromised 'voice' for the modern world.
20 Apr 2021
16. War, Confusion, and Mud in Homage to Catalonia
Orwell's mud. Homage to Catalonia shows how Orwell could turn the muddying of troops and the muddied waters of civil war into impressionistic form. This episode reconstructs these emphases, connecting them to Orwell's reasons for participating in the Spanish Civil War in 1937.
18 Mar 2021
15. Beastly Men and Humanlike Beasts in Animal Farm
An episode considering how Orwell's most famous satire, Animal Farm, traces the equivalences between men and animals as part of its fairy-tale response to the Russian Revolution and the emergence of Stalin's Russia.
16 Mar 2021
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14. The Question of Poverty Tourism in The Road to Wigan Pier
Is The Road to Wigan Pier (1937) socio-economically voyeuristic? This episode discusses some of the issues surrounding this and related questions, giving an overview of why and how Orwell wrote this enduringly relevant account of poverty and hardship in the industrial north of England.
1 Mar 2021
13. Normality and Stickiness in A Clergyman’s Daughter
An episode about Orwell's least well-known novel, A Clergyman's Daughter (1935), in which images of glue and stickiness denote the text's very particular concern with returns back to the normal and familiar.
17 Feb 2021
12. Emptiness, Racism, and Fat Shaming in Burmese Days
Orwell's novel Burmese Days (1934) takes a dim view of empire, but is itself deeply prejudiced. This episode considers prejudice at two levels: the racist mentalities of the Orwell's characters, and the novel's own narrative expressions of lookism and fat-shaming.
11 Feb 2021
11. Civilization, Death, and Money in Keep the Aspidistra Flying
Gordon Comstock--the great enemy of money, in Orwell. This episode looks at his rage, the deathliness of the world around him, and the poor choices to which his anger leads.
1 Feb 2021
10. Poverty and Genre in Down and Out in Paris and London
Orwell, down and out. In this episode, we track the various formal tensions in Orwell's first major work, his study of poverty and precarity in Paris and London.
24 Jan 2021
9. Orwell’s Voice: A Brief Introduction to the Man and his Work
A brief introduction to Orwell's prose style, and his critical 'voice'.
14 Jan 2021