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Old 05-29-2007, 10:17 PM   #1
RWood
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Orwell, George: Keep the Aspidistra Flying - v1 - 29 May 07

This is another Orwell book that I had never seen before. I will be happy to finish the series (2 to go) and getting around to reading them myself.

Wikipedia says it is -
Quote:
a grimly comic novel by George Orwell. It is set in 1930s London. The main theme is the protagonist's romantic ambition to give up money and status, and the squalid life that results. Orwell based the novel, in part, on experiences he had while researching another book about poverty, Down and Out in Paris and London.

Certainly one of Orwell's successes in the telling of the story is the manner in which Gordon goes about separating himself from the "Money God". His bitter hatred of the world of money has left him in such a position that he can do nothing but obsess about his lack thereof. To Gordon, everything is possible only with cold, hard cash: thus, he makes money the object of his worship even as he reviles it and looks down upon those who make it such.

The aspidistra of the title is an extremely hardy common houseplant that at the time was widely considered a symbol of dull bourgeois British taste, and which seems to pursue Gordon throughout the novel. The aspidistra in his bedsit, which he tries to kill, never dies, surviving extreme desiccation, cigarette butts, and alcohol poisoning. By its very indestructibility, the plant gradually comes to symbolise more than middlebrow taste; and, at the end of the novel, Gordon insists on buying one to decorate his new home. At one point, Orwell writes of Gordon's aspidistra as being "practically immortal".
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