Down and Out in Paris and London
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- 2001 ISBN 9780141184388
- 256 pages
- 19.8 × 12.8 × 1.8 cm
George Orwell’s vivid memoir of his time living among the desperately poor and destitute, Down and Out in Paris and London is a moving tour of the underworld of society.
‚You have talked so often of going to the dogs – and well, here are the dogs, and you have reached them.‘
Written when Orwell was a struggling writer in his twenties, it documents his ‚first contact with poverty‘. Here, he painstakingly documents a world of unrelenting drudgery and squalor – sleeping in bug-infested hostels and doss houses of last resort, working as a dishwasher in Paris’s vile ‚Hôtel X‘, surviving on scraps and cigarette butts, living alongside tramps, a star-gazing pavement artist and a starving Russian ex-army captain. Exposing a shocking, previously-hidden world to his readers, Orwell gave a human face to the statistics of poverty for the first time – and in doing so, found his voice as a writer.
Eric Arthur Blair (1903-1950), better known by his pen-name, George Orwell, was born in India, where his father worked for the Civil Service. An author and journalist, Orwell was one of the most prominent and influential figures in twentieth-century literature. His unique political allegory Animal Farm was published in 1945, and it was this novel, together with the dystopia of Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949), which brought him world-wide fame. His novels and non-fiction include Burmese Days, Down and Out in Paris and London, The Road to Wigan Pier and Homage to Catalonia.