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Old 05-29-2007, 10:27 PM   #1
RWood
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Orwell, George: The Road to Wigan Pier - v1 - 29 May 07

Wikipedia says:

Quote:
The Road to Wigan Pier was written by George Orwell and published in 1937. It is a sociological analysis of living conditions in the industrial north of England before World War II that was commissioned by the Left Book Club in January 1936. Orwell received a £500 advance - two years' income for him at the time - and spent the period from 31 January to 30 March 1936 living in Barnsley, Sheffield and Wigan researching the book.
Some of the quotes from this book seem to foreshadow many that we find again in 1984:

“A middle class child is taught simultaneously to wash his neck, to be ready to die for his country , and to despise the working classes”

“The ordinary man may not flinch from a dictatorship of the proletariat, if you offer it tactfully; offer him a dictatorship of the prigs and he gets ready to fight”

“that dreary tribe of high–minded women and sandal-wearers and bearded fruit juice drinkers who come flocking to the scent of “progress” like bluebottles to a dead cat”

“the food-crank is by definition a person willing to cut himself off from ordinary human society in hopes of adding five years on to the life of his carcase; that is ,a person out of touch with common humanity”

“The logical end of machine civilization is to reduce the human being to something resembling a brain in a bottle. That is the goal towards which we are already moving, though, of course, we have no intention of getting there; just as a man who drinks a bottle of whisky a day does not actually intend to get cirrhosis of the liver.”

“If only the sandals and the pistachio-coloured shirts could be put in a pile and burnt, and every vegetarian, teetotaller, and creeping Jesus sent home to Welwyn Garden City to do his yoga exercises quietly!”

“(The impoverished middle class) may sink without further struggles into the working classes where we belong, and probably when we get there it will not be so dreadful as we feared, for, after all, we have nothing to lose but our aitches”
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Old 05-30-2007, 02:52 AM   #2
HarryT
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The joke in the title is, of course, that Wigan is a northern industrial town that doesn't have a pier. It's only a few miles away from where I live.
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Old 05-30-2007, 05:24 AM   #3
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Harry - you must be near me in Chorley!!!!!!
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Old 05-30-2007, 05:37 AM   #4
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Not too far away - I'm in Warrington.
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Old 06-26-2007, 01:53 PM   #5
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Its a small world .....

I'm from a small village between Wigan and Preston ...
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Old 06-26-2007, 02:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
The joke in the title is, of course, that Wigan is a northern industrial town that doesn't have a pier. It's only a few miles away from where I live.
Based on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Road_to_Wigan_Pier
Quote:
The name of the book comes from a music hall routine by a British comedian. Although a pier is a structure built out into the water from the shore, in Britain the term has the connotation of a seaside holiday. Wigan was a small grimy coal town on a canal accessed by boats via an offloading structure, although it primarily used land transport. Hence the music hall joke of a coal town with its own seaside resort, and Orwell's choice of title implied his belief that socialism could improve life to an unprecedented degree even in a coal town.

Orwell also mentions that Wigan did not actually have a pier because it collapsed some years before he visited.

All that remains of Wigan Pier is a section of raised railway track.
We've added a lot of Orwell's books on Feedbooks lately, that's why I remembered this: http://www.feedbooks.com/discover/view_author/204
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