Sunday, August 14, 2016

The nose knows …

… George Orwell and the stench of socialism | Books | The Guardian. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Orwell trusted the smell test, and made crucial changes in his life on the strength of it. When he came back for good, after five years in Burma, “one sniff of English air” confirmed that he had done the right thing. The nose knows. One inhalation, and he decided he was never going back. Orwell was, elsewhere, raised to heights of mirthful satire by the odour of leftwing “crankishness”: “It would help enormously, for instance, if the smell of crankishness which still clings to the Socialist movement could be dispelled. 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!”

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