This is good timing. So, let me start from the beginning. The other night, my husband had his bridge friends over. He has a bridge get-together in our home very rarely, maybe only twice a year. Those nights, before the guests arrive, I like to retire to my bedroom upstairs.I take my laptop, my book and my snacks, and spend a quiet time upstairs. This time, I had forgotten my book downstairs. I was reading "A far Cry From Kensington" by Muriel Spark (I loved it). Without my book I couldn't fall asleep. I was already in my PJs and didn't want to go downstairs. So, I went to my daughter's room to look for a book. For a person her age (25) she has a large collection (mostly thanks to xmas/bday gifts from her mom). I found the Animal Farm and took it reluctantly.
I had read 1984 and liked it. But I had never read Animal Farm. I was very reluctant to read it because: 1. I know the story, and 2. I thought it was cold war propaganda material. I was very pleasantly surprised. For someone reading it for the first time (and a very well known story) I found it brilliant, humourous, and wonderfully written. I thought it was accurate of many regimes, past and present around the world. I found connections to today Turkey (especially in the sheep.)
After reading the story and loving it, I read the foreword. I learned for the first time that Orwell never intended this book to be an anti-communism propaganda. It is most definitely anti-Stalin, of course. And not even Trotsky/Snowball escapes unscathed, he was partaking of the milk and apples and enjoying other comforts.
I have a hard time enjoying books/authors who have been turned into a propaganda tool by the West. (Soljenitsin for instance, or Turkey's own Orhan Pamuk, they gave them the Nobel prize). Sometimes this embrace by the West is welcome or even planned (in the case of Orhan Pamuk) by the author and that's a turn-off. But I was happy to learn that Orwell did not have any such desires, on the contrary he was upset by it.
I will type up excerpts from the foreword (or try to find them on the internet) tonight.
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