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THE ORWELL BOOK COVERS

 

Orwell has for me, that most unusual knack of placing me as the reader at the very centre of the action; as the protagonist. When I am reading him, I am Gordon Comstock, I am Winston Smith, I am George Bowling. I am the passenger on the train crossing the North of England catching sight of the woman clearing the drain…* A very few books have placed me in such a position. “Catch 22” did; “Moby Dick” too. Orwell achieves this with a consistency I cannot find in any other of my favourite writers -not even Sterne.  “The Road to Wigan Pier” is a book so evocative of its geographical and economic setting that  after each reading, I find myself inspecting my fingernails for any buildup of coal dust and metal particles under them. I use this this to excuse my hubris in placing myself as the image in these prints on the same surface as the great man’s name.

* The Road to Wigan Pier. 1937

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